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Les Relacions Internacionals de Catalunya

Les Relacions Internacionals de Catalunya | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

El periodista Martí Anglada, ex-corresponsal a Brussel·les, Berlín i els Estats Units (per TV3), corresponsal a l’Orient Mitjà, Itàlia i el Regne Unit (per La Vanguardia) i amb llarga experiència com a comentarista de política internacional ha fet una conferència a Bellaterra el dijous 15.11.2012, organitzada per Bellaterra per la Independència i centrada en observacions personals al llarg de la seva carrera periodística.

En Martí Anglada considera que Catalunya ha de tenir relacions internacionals sempre i en tot moment. De fet, la base de les relacions internacionals és tenir amics. I en els moments actuals si no hi ha amics és difícil la independència...

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Catalan Separatists Say Debt Investors Can Help Campaign - Bloomberg

Catalan Separatists Say Debt Investors Can Help Campaign - Bloomberg | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Catalan leaders pushing for a
referendum on independence from Spain say investors might help
force Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to yield.

 

With a majority of Catalans demanding a chance to vote on their constitutional future, the Spanish government needs to find a way of addressing their concerns or risk a political backlash that could rattle markets, said Oriol Junqueras, leader of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, the separatist party that won the regional vote in May’s European election.

 

“The Spanish government owes 1 trillion euros and someone has to pay this debt,” Junqueras, 45, said in an interview. “It’s not a good idea to stop the Catalan people voting and it’s not good for international markets.”...

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Luis Suárez unveiling at Barcelona blocked by Fifa until the end of his ban - The Guardian

Luis Suárez unveiling at Barcelona blocked by Fifa until the end of his ban - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona will not be allowed to publicly unveil new £75m signing Luis Suárez while he remains banned for biting, Fifa has confirmed

 

Suárez is due to complete his move from Liverpool in the next few days, and the Catalan club has previously introduced star signings including Neymar and Cesc Fàbregas to packed stadiums. There have been suggestions Barcelona could hold a similar event for Suárez in a non-football venue to get around the four-month ban imposed on the Uruguay striker for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, but Fifa has now confirmed that any such event will not be permitted while the ban remains in force.

 

Fifa’s head of media Delia Fischer said: “The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue. He cannot even be involved in a football-related charity event.”..

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Mas may be ready to delay Catalan vote if Rajoy will talk

Mas may be ready to delay Catalan vote if Rajoy will talk | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Catalan President Artur Mas said he may be prepared to pause the countdown to November’s referendum on independence for talks with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, so long as he gets the backing of the other pro-vote parties.
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Airbnb fined €30,000 for illegal tourist lets in Barcelona - The Guardian

Airbnb fined €30,000 for illegal tourist lets in Barcelona - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Website among eight fined for breaching law requiring any property rented to tourists to be on Catalonia's tourism registry

 

They boast magnificent city views, proximity to shopping and nightlife and the chance to live like a local.

But what some of the Barcelona properties listed for rent on Airbnb don't have, at least according to the government of Catalonia, is legality. The regional government announced on Monday that it was slapping a €30,000 (£24,000) fine on the website over what it calls a "serious" breach of local laws.

 

Founded in 2008, Airbnb now lists more than half a million private properties in 192 countries for stays as short as one night and is valued at an estimated $10bn. Catalonia has figured prominently in its growth, with Barcelona consistently ranking as one of the site's largest markets, and the company launched a Catalan version of its website last April.

The fine – the San Francisco-based firm's first in Europe – was for breaching local laws that state any flat rented to tourists must be registered with the Tourism Registry of Catalonia. Regional laws also prohibit the renting out of rooms in private residences.

 

Airbnb was one of eight letting sites fined by the Catalan government, but its success has made it the focus of widespread opposition to private tourist lets in Barcelona, where recent years have seen hundreds of thousands of private lets are on offer to cater to a growing number of tourists. Hoteliers have taken aim at the flats over what they deem unfair competition; while several neighbourhood associations blame private lets for driving up housing prices in central districts...

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Crisis of trust as economic downturn in Spain ends - FT

Crisis of trust as economic downturn in Spain ends - FT | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
When Spaniards speak about “the crisis” these days, it is no longer clear which crisis they are referring to.

 

Until recently, it was obvious that la crísis could only mean the brutal economic downturn triggered by the bursting of Spain’s housing bubble six years ago. Today, however, the word may just as easily refer to the deepening political and institutional crisis that has engulfed the country.Until recently, it was obvious that la crísis could only mean the brutal economic downturn triggered by the bursting of Spain’s housing


Symptoms of this second Spanish crisis have, of course, been visible for some time, and are closely linked to the bitter economic hardship suffered by millions of Spanish families in recent years.

 

Now, however, they appear with greater frequency, and in ever more sensitive parts of the body politic. Rebuilding trust in the state and its institutions will take a Herculean effort, and this time neither the European Commission nor the European Central Bank nor the International Monetary Fund will be there to help.

 

“The economic crisis has made people realise our political system is less perfect than they thought. Trust in our institutions has collapsed,” says Antonio Barroso, a political analyst at Teneo Intelligence, a consultancy.

 

Politicians, parties and parliament, the government and the judiciary, the monarchy and the constitution, business and the unions – they are all facing hostile scrutiny as never before.

In the region of Catalonia, meanwhile, more and more people say they want to have nothing to do with the state of Spain. Secessionist pressures are on the rise, and will come to a head in November, when the regional government plans a referendum on Catalonia’s political future.

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World Cup 2014: were Spain too reliant on Barcelona players? - The Guardian

World Cup 2014: were Spain too reliant on Barcelona players? - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Does a World Cup team benefit or lose out from fielding players from the same clubs? We analysed the data
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Spain's new king under pressure to tackle Catalonia stalemate - The Guardian

Spain's new king under pressure to tackle Catalonia stalemate - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Catalan leader Artur Mas, who will attend coronation, says Felipe should be given time to address independence issue
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Pope signals Scotland, Catalonia should take care on independence - Reuters

Pope signals Scotland, Catalonia should take care on independence - Reuters | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis suggested on Friday that Scotland and Catalonia must think carefully about breaking away from their national unions, making a distinction between seeking independence
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Seeing ourselves as others see us - BBC

Seeing ourselves as others see us - BBC | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Many Catalans are envious of the Edinburgh Agreement, which committed both the UK and Scottish governments to respecting the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum


While many Scots caught up in the midst of the referendum campaign may despair at some of the things they see and hear, it seems the debate is being seen in a much more flattering light from further afield.

Earlier this year, Catalan President Artur Mas admitted he was "jealous" of what was happening in Scotland.

 

He pointed out that the Scottish referendum was taking place with the full support and agreement of both sides, while the Spanish government was refusing to accept the legitimacy of a similar vote in Catalonia.

 

And in May, former Northern Irish First Minister Lord Trimble told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that a "Yes vote in Scotland would reinforce the argument against violence because it's a demonstration of how you can achieve major change through the political democratic process".

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Saving Spain From Catalan Split Is Felipe VI’s First Task - BusinessWeek

Saving Spain From Catalan Split Is Felipe VI’s First Task - BusinessWeek | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Among the new Spanish monarch’s most pressing challenges will be holding his kingdom together.

 

Crown Prince Felipe, 46, who will become Felipe VI after his father Juan Carlos completes the abdication process set in train yesterday, takes the throne just as 7.6 million of his subjects in the region of Catalonia - the first contributor to Spain’s gross domestic product - prepare for a vote on independence this year. Polls suggest the result hangs in the balance.

 

“The prince needs to talk of integration,” Jose Antonio Gomez Yanez, a professor at the Carlos III university in Madrid, said in a telephone interview. “He has been trying but so far his message hasn’t had much resonance -- his position has been secondary to the king’s.”

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The new king’s first job: keep Spain together - The Sunday Times

The new king’s first job: keep Spain together - The Sunday Times | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

FELIPE VI will set off on a tour of his restive country to win back support for the beleaguered royal family and discourage a Catalan rebellion when he becomes king this week.


Felipe and Queen Letizia, a former television journalist, hope their charm offensive will win hearts and minds.
However, they are likely to face resistance in Catalonia, where resentment of the monarchy dates back to 1714, when the new king's namesake flattened Barcelona.


The 300th anniversary of the city's fall to the forces of Felipe V, which put Catalonia under Spanish control, will be on September 11. Separatists hope this will bolster support for a yes vote in a referendum that they will be holding in November in defiance of Madrid.


"A lot of people around here regard the referendum as a way of taking revenge on Felipe VI for what Felipe V did in Barcelona," said Alfred Bosch, a Catalan nationalist and MP in the Spanish parliament.


Felipe's proclamation as king in a ceremony to be held in parliament on Thursday follows the abdication of Juan Carlos, 76, after a 39-year reign.
The outgoing monarch helped to lead Spain from dictatorship to democracy, winning huge popular support for his role in putting down a coup attempt in 1981.


However, his popularity faded after revelations about elephant hunting safaris and allegations of corruption made against his younger daughter, the Infanta Cristina, and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin.


Cristina has not been invited to Thursday's events, when the new king and queen will appear with Juan Carlos on the balcony of the royal palace after being driven through the streets of Madrid in an open car.
Felipe will have little time to adjust: Catalonia could become as important a test for him as the coup attempt was for his father, particularly if Scotland votes yes to independence, a result that would be expected to bolster separatist support in the Catalan referendum two months later...

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European poll highlights regional rift in Spain - FT

European poll highlights regional rift in Spain - FT | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

In legal terms, Catalan leaders have yet to work out how they can hold a referendum on independence from Spain. In electoral terms, however, the northern region already looks like a different country.

 

The widening gulf between Catalonia and the rest of the nation was highlighted by the starkly diverging outcomes in Sunday’s European Parliament election: after a campaign dominated by the issue of independence, more than 55 per cent of Catalan voters backed parties that support a referendum on the region’s future status. Most do not even stand in other parts of the country. Five years ago, their share of the vote was only 38 per cent.

 

In contrast, Spain’s ruling Popular Party and the opposition Socialists – still by far the largest formations in the country – suffered heavy losses and found themselves pushed further to the margins of Catalan politics. “What you see in Catalonia is the emergence of a distinct Catalan party system,” says Charles Powell, director of the Real Instituto Elcano think-tank in Madrid.

 

The big winner on Sunday night was the leftwing Esquerra Republicana (ERC), a hardline secessionist party that is the most outspoken supporter of a historic break between Catalonia and Spain. Its share of the vote rose from 9 per cent at the last European election in 2009 to 24 per cent, making the ERC the biggest political party in Catalonia. Oriol Junqueras, the leader of the ERC, said the result marked “a further step towards Catalan independence”.

 

Convergència i Unió, the centre-right nationalist party that currently rules Catalonia, came second, with 22 per cent of the vote. Its share of the vote held up reasonably well, but analysts believe that Sunday’s result will increase the political pressure on the party and its leader, Artur Mas, the regional president. With support shifting towards the hardline secessionists, Mr Mas’s ability to strike a last-minute accord with Madrid to avoid a head-on constitutional clash could be severely curtailed.

 

“The [independence] process gains in strength, but Mas is weakened,” wrote Lluis Bassets, a Barcelona-based political columnist for the El País daily. “In these European elections of 2014, Convergència i Unió loses the hegemony of the process, and Artur Mas himself is forced to share the leadership.”...

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Europeans with an eye on Edinburgh - BBC

Europeans with an eye on Edinburgh - BBC | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Voters will go to the polls in September to decide whether Scotland should become an independent country. But what other Europeans are pressing for independence and how closely are they watching Scotland?

 

1. Catalonia


The Catalan regional authorities have a long history of fighting the central authorities for greater autonomy, with many Catalans believing their language, culture and identity cannot be properly represented in Spain.

 

The region in north-east Spain already enjoys a wide degree of autonomy, and, until recently, few Catalans wanted full independence. But Spain's economic crisis has seen a surge in support for separation as many believe the affluent region pays more to Madrid than it gets back.

 

At the same time, the political base of support for Catalan self-determination has broadened from its traditional preserve of the left and been embraced by the centre-right.

The Catalan government plans to hold a referendum on independence on 9 November 2014, asking voters if they want Catalonia to be a state, and if they want it to be an independent state.

Spanish MPs overwhelmingly rejected a request to hold the referendum earlier this year, with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy declaring it "illegal".

Recent opinion polls suggest people in Catalonia are evenly divided over independence.

 

Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, a columnist for Spanish newspaper El Pais, says people are keeping an eye on Scotland.

He says: "Whether they vote yes or no doesn't really matter - the fact a referendum has been granted and is going ahead is seen as hugely significant.

 

"What remains to be seen is whether the Catalan government will merely use the threat of a referendum as a tactical tool - or whether they will go through with it, which would mean facing sanctions from Madrid."

 

It is also worth noting that Mr Rajoy has implied that Spain could veto an independent Scotland's membership of the EU, widely interpreted as a warning to Catalan separatists. The Scottish government argues Scotland could remain in the EU as it is already a member as part of the UK...

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Spain is better together with Catalonia, say Spanish celebrities - The Guardian

Spain is better together with Catalonia, say Spanish celebrities - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
A group of prominent Spaniards say it would be the right of all Spanish citizens to vote in a Catalan independence referendum
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The incredible story of Di Stefano's Barça transfer - BBC

The incredible story of Di Stefano's Barça transfer - BBC | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Alfredo Di Stefano 'signed' for Barcelona and played in a pre-season friendly, so how did he end up moving to Real Madrid?

 

Having been the brightest star in a team that won the European Cup in the competition's first five seasons, Alfredo Di Stefano is almost unanimously regarded as the greatest player in Real Madrid's history.

 

As current club president Florentino Perez noted in his emotional tribute,  in a symbolic way, Di Stefano simply is Real Madrid. His presence looms so large that he came as close as anybody ever will to the status of being "bigger than the club".

 

But football history could have been different - very different indeed. Because when the magical Argentine forward first opted for a move to Spain, he appeared to be destined not for Real but their eternal rivals Barcelona.

 

The story of Di Stefano's transfer to Los Blancos is a fascinating and complex web of claims, denials, counter-denials and conspiracy theories involving five clubs in three countries. There are allegations of treachery, a mysteriously ripped-up contract and - possibly - the personal intervention of a dictator...

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Joan Fontcuberta: false negatives - The Guardian

Joan Fontcuberta: false negatives - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
He's a photojournalist who fakes miracles, a terrible photographer who's won one of the profession's top prizes, a 'bullshitter' who loves the truth … Stuart Jeffries enters the upside-down world of Joan Fontcuberta

 

In 1968, during a routine space walk, the Russian cosmonaut Ivan Istochnikov and his dog went missing. When Soyuz 3 was dispatched to find them, its crew found only a vodka bottle containing a note, floating outside the empty, meteorite-damaged ship.

 

Nothing was heard about Istochnikov for nearly three decades: it was as though the Soviet authorities had airbrushed their cosmonaut from history. Then, in 1997, Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta investigated Istochnikov's disappearance, exhibited documentary evidence about his life and published a book called Sputnik – the Odyssey of the Soyuz II, which included photographs of the Istochinikov family, meteorite fragments and the dented spacecraft. Others took up the story. Why, asked Spanish journalist Iker Jiménez on his TV show Cuarto Milenio in 2006, was Istochnikov deleted from history? Had he annoyed the Soviet government?

 

What Jiménez didn't realise is that "Ivan Istochnikov" is a Russian translation of "Joan Fontcuberta" (both surnames mean hidden fountain). What's more, if he'd looked closer at the Istochnikov family photos he would have noticed that the Russian cosmonaut was really a Catalan photographer. The whole thing was a hoax, elaborately documented by an artist ("I prefer to think of myself as an activist," Fontcuberta corrects me when we meet) to expose the construction of reality masked by the putatively neutral nature of documentary photography. There was no meteorite, no cosmonaut, no conspiracy, and – happily – no dead dog drifting eternally in space like a canine George Clooney...

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Catalans Trump Scots With V-for-Victory as Rajoy Shuns Debate - Bloomberg

Catalans Trump Scots With V-for-Victory as Rajoy Shuns Debate - Bloomberg | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
is losing the independence debate on the streets of Catalonia.

 

Support for secession in the country’s biggest regional economy has been above 45 percent for the past year compared with 28 percent when the premier took office in 2011, according to regional government pollster Centre d’Estudis d’Opinio. The premier this week ruled out talks with the Catalan government unless it withdraws the referendum planned for Nov. 9.

 

Felipe VI makes his first visit to Catalonia as king today after making an indirect appeal to the region to remain part of Spain in his proclamation speech last week. A fluent Catalan speaker, Felipe is trying to hold onto a region that accounts for 10 percent of Spain’s tax revenue and a quarter of its exports.

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First test for Felipe after snub from Catalan nationalists - The Times

First test for Felipe after snub from Catalan nationalists - The Times | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Only days after his coronation - and with public support for the monarchy seemingly on the rise at last - Spain's new king will be plunged into a crisis this week when he comes face to face with those calling for his abolition.

Felipe VI will travel with Queen Letizia to the city of Girona in Catalonia - a bastion of Catalan nationalism whose city council declared in a vote last week that he did not represent them.

The snub is symbolic of growing support for republicanism and Catalan separatism, two of the main challenges facing the king in a country where the popularity of the monarchy has fallen drastically because of a series of corruption scandals.

Catalan nationalists have promised to stage a referendum on independence in November but the government in Madrid has refused to allow what it calls an illegal vote. The stand-off has left many looking to Felipe to try to find some kind of solution before the country splits in two.

In his coronation speech, the king promised to be a symbol of unity in a country mired in economic crisis, saying: "There is room for all of us in a united and diverse Spain" - a clear reference to Catalan nationalist aspirations. He also spoke a few words in Catalan.

It did not impress Artur Mas, the Catalan regional president, who refused to applaud, insisting the address contained nothing new.

As such, the king's trip to the city on Thursday for a business conference will assume far greater importance than it ordinarily would, being regarded as a first crucial test of his unifying qualities.

Yet, in spite of his difficulties, Felipe may take heart from a raft of polls yesterday suggesting that the monarchy was getting a much-needed surge of support in Spain after years of gains for the republican movement.

A poll for El País newspaper found that 59 per cent of Spaniards felt "more secure" with their new monarch than with King Juan Carlos, who abdicated after 39 years on the throne. The same poll found that 75 per cent hoped Felipe could help solve the political crisis over the rich region of Catalonia.

Others disagree. "The Spanish monarchy is anti-democratic and out of date," Lluc Salellas, from the Catalan nationalist CUP party in Girona, said, vowing to campaign for its abolition...

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Spain's popular prince must charm Catalonia as king - Reuters

Spain's popular prince must charm Catalonia as king - Reuters | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
MADRID (Reuters) - Many Spaniards are hoping for a lot more than polish and glamour from new King Felipe VI when he takes the throne on Thursday after his father's surprise abdication.The new monarch
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Spain’s Catalan crisis will be Felipe’s first big test - FT

Spain’s Catalan crisis will be Felipe’s first big test - FT | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Can a new king help solve Spain’s Catalan crisis? It is a question that has been raised with growing frequency, ever since Juan Carlos announced his decision to abdicate earlier this month. In some quarters, Crown Prince Felipe is already being
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Pope Francis says every independence movement is different, but separation of countries must be 'handled with tweezers' - The Guardian

Pope Francis says every independence movement is different, but separation of countries must be 'handled with tweezers' - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Pope Francis says every independence movement is different, but separation of countries must be 'handled with tweezers'
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New Reign in Spain - The Times

New Reign in Spain - The Times | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

To toast his ascent to the throne of Spain, King Felipe's guests yesterday drank Catalonian cava. The choice of wine showed an acute awareness of the country's two most pressing problems and an earnest desire to fix them. Spain must cater to its separatists without coming apart and it must return to full employment without returning to insolvency. There is no doubt that the king's advisers understand this. Spain can only hope that he does too. Strictly speaking this was not even a coronation. Felipe's head stayed bare and the old crown of Alfonso XII stayed on a chair throughout. It was instead a simple transfer of regalia and responsibilities from a father weakened by scandal and old age to a son so far untarnished by either. Even without the ejection of the national football team from the World Cup the night before, it came at a low ebb for Spain.

 

In November Catalonia intends to hold a referendum on independence that the government of Mariano Rajoy considers illegal and is determined to stop. Rumblings of secession and discontent have returned to the Basque country, and all of Spain is still reeling from recession. The unemployment rate stands at 26 per cent overall and more than 50 per cent for those under 26. Nearly half of Spaniards under 30 live with their parents.

 

Catalonians' yearning for a looser relationship with Madrid, or none at all, is based on cultural differences but also economics. They believe they shoulder an unfair burden of the cost of welfare for those regions where unemployment is most dire, especially in the south.

 

This is a legitimate complaint and one that Mr Rajoy needs to address, but Catalonian independence is not the answer. The unity of Spain matters, and, as the new king emphasised, it is not the same as uniformity. It matters to Catalonians themselves, who depend on their commercial ties to the rest of Spain more than they care to admit. It matters to the country as a whole, for which Barcelona is a vital economic engine room. It matters to the European Union, which is in no position to consider membership applications from a cluster of Iberian mini-states. Coping with the debt crisis of a unitary Spain has been complex enough.

 

King Felipe is a symbol of Spanish unity. He said as much in the short speech that launched his reign, but he explained carefully what sort of unity he had in mind. Spain's strength, he said, lies in its diversity. "There are different ways to be a Spanish citizen. We must co-exist."

In Spain such formulations are not clichés. They are vital to distinguish unity based on consent and tolerance from the conformity of fascism, which ended within the lifetime of any Spaniard born before 1975...

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Catalan leader says independence vote must go ahead - Reuters

Catalan leader says independence vote must go ahead - Reuters | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalan President Artur Mas said on Wednesday his people have the right to decide on breaking away from Spain and he is forging ahead with plans for a Nov. 9 vote on independence that the central government vows to block on constitutional grounds.

 

Mas, leader of the northeastern Spanish region of 7 million people, told Reuters in an interview he is seeking a legal formula for a non-binding vote although Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said any format is illegal.

The 58-year-old Catalan leader, president since 2010, said there is nothing that Rajoy is likely to offer him that will damp down the surging independence movement and persuade him to call off the vote, which he calls a "popular consultation".

 

"In the end, the central government must abandon its political shortsightedness and leave Catalonia alone to hold the consultation," Mas said in an interview in the Pedralbes Royal Palace in Barcelona.

Two years ago at the height of Spain's financial crisis Mas, an economist who built his political career as conservative budget slasher, got fed up with trying to negotiate a new tax deal with Spain's central government and made a dramatic switch.

 

He abandoned his lifelong moderate nationalist stance - that of pushing Spain to give Catalonia more self-governing powers - and took up the radical cause of independence.

 

Riding a wave of pro-independence protests in Catalonia, Mas called for a referendum. He has since sent a date of Nov. 9, almost two months after Scotland's independence vote.

But while Scotland's vote is legal and will be recognised by Great Britain, Spain's parliament earlier this year blocked Mas's initial bid for a referendum.

 

Mas said he still had legal options. He said in the coming weeks the Catalonian regional parliament would pass a law setting rules for a popular consultation to be held instead.

 

This is a non-binding vote which will not lead to a unilateral declaration of independence. However, Mas said it will give him a mandate to seek a new relationship with Spain, including more power over taxes, welfare spending, police, infrastructure, and education...

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701 cats and dogs in Catalonia have been named after Lionel Messi - The Independent

701 cats and dogs in Catalonia have been named after Lionel Messi - The Independent | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Cristiano Ronaldo may have usurped Lionel Messi to be recognised as the best player in the world, but there is one area in which the Barcelona forward looks unbeatable - the pet naming stakes.
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Barcelona pay tribute to a great captain as Carles Puyol bows out - The Guardian

Barcelona pay tribute to a great captain as Carles Puyol bows out - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona bade farewell to their captain, Carles Puyol, after a 15-year career that earned him 21 trophies and a reputation as one of the greatest centre-halves the world has seen

 

A one-club man and linchpin of Barça and Spain's all-conquering sides, he bows out with six league titles, three Champions League championships and two Spanish Cups to his name – along with a European Championship and World Cup with the national side.

 

Barça devoted a chunk of their club website to his farewell and former and present team-mates and coaches, among them Pep Guardiola, paid homage to their 36-year-old leader.

 

Puyol, who has captained the club since 2004, gave a press conference in front of his mother, brother, partner and friends and confirmed that an ongoing knee injury had forced him to retire. "We tried everything and I'd like to thank the doctors and physios for everything. We've not figured out a way to fix it, but I've not given up. I'll keep trying to sort it out but now without the pressure of having to play."..

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