AC Affairs
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Catalan imputs on the English Media
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Families call for fresh inquiries over CQC cover-up allegations

Families call for fresh inquiries over CQC cover-up allegations | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Department of Health under fire as watchdog names accused officials at centre of maternity unit investigation

Families of the children who died at the Morecambe hospital where failings were allegedly covered up by the Care Quality Commission called for a fresh investigation into how much the Department of Health knew about problems with the trust's maternity unit between 2004 and 2012.

Their demand came after the CQC finally named the three people – former chief executive Cynthia Bower, her deputy Jill Finney, and media manager Anna Jefferson – who were said to be present during a discussion at the health regulator when it was decided to suppress a report that had uncovered critical weaknesses in its inspections of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust...

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Skills training: Employers 'want more control'

Skills training: Employers 'want more control' | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

UK employers overwhelmingly want more control over training with qualifications better tailored to their needs, a major annual survey suggests.

Some 93% of 294 firms surveyed for the Confederation of British Industry and education group Pearson felt they knew best what employee skills they needed...

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Miliband to call for penalties for developers 'hoarding' land

Miliband to call for penalties for developers 'hoarding' land | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Labour leader Ed Miliband is to say property developers "sitting on" land rather than building homes should be penalised.

In a speech on Saturday, he will say too many firms with planning permission for projects are "sitting on land" as it gains value, instead of using it.

Labour is considering giving councils more powers to penalise firms which do not proceed with building projects...

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Latest polls shows 70% would vote in favor of Catalan independence

Latest polls shows 70% would vote in favor of Catalan independence | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

The Catalan Government's Opinion Studies Center poll published today (Catalan English) confirms the trend of the El Periódico poll from a few weeks ago with increased support for pro-independence parties and for independence itself.

2000 people, distributed amongst Catalonia's four major metropolitan areas, were interviewed by phone between May 31 and June 13, 2013.

72.5% believe Catalonia has achieved an “insufficient level of autonomy”. Only 19.1% believe it has a “sufficient level” and less than 5% think it has too much.

47% believe that Catalonia should be an independent state. 21.2% that it should be a state in a federal Spain, 22.8% that it should be an autonomous region of Spain and 4.6% that it should be a region in Spain.

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Independence: Spain ‘can’t block Scottish EU bid’

Independence: Spain ‘can’t block Scottish EU bid’ | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

A CATALAN nationalist MEP has challenged claims by a European Parliament vice-president that Spain could veto an independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union.

Ramon Tremosa, of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia party, suggested Spain might try to block Scotland’s membership to quell Catalan and Basque separatist ambitions, but said it would not be successful.

European Parliament vice-president Alejo Vidal-Quadras has said France and Spain “will surely not” accept an independent Scotland into the EU...


Also:

Catalan MEP challenges claims that Spain could veto an independent Scotland's place in EU (Daily Record) http://ves.cat/gSoG

A referendum on independence would be a criminal act (HC) http://ves.cat/gSqk

Peter Jones: No answer exists until vote is cast (Scotsman) http://ves.cat/gSqn
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Barcelona's electronic music festival Sonar breaks all records in its 20th anniversary edition

Barcelona's electronic music festival Sonar breaks all records in its 20th anniversary edition | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (CNA).- With the Pet Shop Boys, Kraftwerk, 2 ManyDJs, Jurassic 5 and Laurent Garnier as guaranteed crowd pullers, the 20th edition of the Sonar Festival was a success waiting to happen. But the record-breaking attendance figures and the smooth transition from downtown Barcelona to the Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuic venue went way beyond organisers’ expectations. More than 121,000 festival-goers attended the electronic music event, which represents a 24% compared to last year’s figures. Furthermore, around 55% of the attendees were foreigners...

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Spain is the number one country in the world for Britons committing ‘benefit fraud abroad’

Spain is the number one country in the world for Britons committing ‘benefit fraud abroad’ | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

With an estimated 800,000 Britons living in Spain, it’s the number one country in the world for Britons committing ‘benefit fraud abroad’

More allegations are made about people living in Spain whilst continuing to receive UK benefits than in any other country where British expatriates live.

So investigators from the Department of Work & Pension have today (17 June) issued a fresh appeal to British expats to report anyone they suspect of fraudulently claiming UK benefits whilst living in Spain, to help stop taxpayers’ money being wasted on benefit thieves when it could be spent on valuable public services such as hospitals and schools...

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Un 55,6% dels catalans votarien avui a favor de la independència, segons el CEO

Un 55,6% dels catalans votarien avui a favor de la independència, segons el CEO | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
L'última enquesta del CEO constata que puja gairebé un punt el percentatge de suports al "sí" en una consulta d'autodeterminació. També augmenta, en aquest cas tres punts, el suport al "no", que es queda en un 23,4%.
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Recipe: quails with chickpeas, pimenton and almonds

Recipe: quails with chickpeas, pimenton and almonds | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Catalonia is right up there, gastronomically speaking. El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona, has just been named the best restaurant in the world. But it is not such an enviable position. The Fat Duck was named best in 2005, and has now slid down to No 33 despite the fact that the chef proprietor – one Heston Blumenthal – thinks it has never been better, and I have no reason to doubt him...
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The Spanish Public Prosecution Office accuses the governing Catalan Nationalist Party CDC of corruption

The Spanish Public Prosecution Office accuses the governing Catalan Nationalist Party CDC of corruption | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (ACN).- After a four-year investigation, the Public Prosecution Office – which is under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Ministry of Justice – is accusing Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC), the main force within the two-party coalition Convergència i Unió (CiU) which runs the Catalan Government, of having received €6.6 million in “illegal commission” from the construction company Ferrovial in exchange for allocation of public work...

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'Small countries ...'

'Small countries ...' | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

On 1 June 2013, in the closing speech of the 29th Jornades del Cercle d´Economia held in Sitges (Barcelona), the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, declared that “to be able to participate in Europe, a country needs to be big. Small countries don’t count. They don’t count for anything.”

The Spanish president’s sentence contains three errors. The first, factual: Spain is not an influential country. The second, strategic: Rajoy implicitly concedes (which he has not done previously) that small countries exist and are viable, even the ones rotting away somewhere in the Alps. And the third, philosophical: the world Rajoy depicts is not the sum of the actions of citizens, businesses and civil society but the outcome of the decisions of states and their rulers...

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Un exambaixador britànic a l'ONU: Catalunya no tindrà "cap problema" per ser reconeguda si es pacta la independència

Un exambaixador britànic a l'ONU: Catalunya no tindrà "cap problema" per ser reconeguda si es pacta la independència | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

El britànic Jeremy Greenstock avisa, però, que si Espanya continua "resistint-se a la idea d'un canvi" els catalans tindran "indubtables dificultats"

Catalunya no tindrà "cap problema" per ser reconeguda a l'ONU si esdevé independent a través d'un procés acordat amb l'Estat, però patirà "indubtables dificultats" si Madrid prohibeix el referèndum o l'ignora. Aquesta és l'opinió del diplomàtic britànic Jeremy Greenstock, exambaixador del Regne Unit a les Nacions Unides i president de la UNA-UK...

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The Ukip leader has admitted he made a mistake by setting up a trust fund in an offshore tax haven

The Ukip leader has admitted he made a mistake by setting up a trust fund in an offshore tax haven | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Nigel Farage, who has previously spoken out against tax evaders in a speech to the European parliament, admitted he paid an adviser to set up the Farage Family Educational Trust 1654 on the Isle of Man, the Daily Mirror said...

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Judges to explain benefit assessment decisions

Judges to explain benefit assessment decisions | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Judges in England and Scotland are being asked to explain why they believe someone is unfit to work, in a move ministers hope will improve the decision-making process on benefits.

Tribunals in London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham will offer feedback when they overturn rulings on employment and support allowance (ESA) on appeal.

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UFO sightings: Files explain why MoD closed down special desk

UFO sightings: Files explain why MoD closed down special desk | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

The MoD closed its UFO desk in 2009 because nothing reported to it in 50 years had revealed anything to suggest a military threat to the UK.

The desk was closed in December 2009 despite a surge in reported sightings.

 

The disclosure came in National Archives files relating to reports of UFOs - Unidentified Flying Objects - between 2007 and November 2009.

They show UFOs were reported at several UK landmarks, including Stonehenge...

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Barcelona Chamber of Commerce accuses the Spanish Government of owing €4 billion for investments in Catalonia

Barcelona Chamber of Commerce accuses the Spanish Government of owing €4 billion for investments in Catalonia | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (ACN).- On Thursday, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce issued a report in which it denounced the fact that the Spanish Government legally owes Catalonia €3.97 billion in transport infrastructure for the period between 2007 and 2013, in relation to the investments it made in other parts of Spain during that time.


The amount owed in this area corresponds to 2% of Catalonia’s GDP. According to the current legislation, the Spanish Government has to invest 18.9% of its total transport infrastructure budget in Catalonia for a seven-year period in order to compensate for an historical lack of such investments.


Such lack of investment was acknowledged by the Spanish Parliament in 2006 and it then approved Catalonia receiving an investment share equivalent to at least its GDP within Spain’s economy (18.9%) of the Spanish Government’s investments in transport infrastructure for a seven-year period starting in 2007...

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The Union for the Mediterranean launches a project to train logistic sector workers in Northern Africa

The Union for the Mediterranean launches a project to train logistic sector workers in Northern Africa | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (ACN).- The Union for the Mediterranean – whose headquarters are based in Barcelona – launched the Logismed project , on Monday, which aims to strengthen the training of logistics sector workers in 10 countries in the Southern Mediterranean area. The project will be developed over 6 years (2013-2018) and will start in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia...

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Congratulate Monarch Airlines for their website in the Catalan Language

Congratulate Monarch Airlines for their website in the Catalan Language | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Catalan people are now very grateful for every sign of recognition of their language in all fields.
You can send the next message to Monarch Airlines:

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Catalonia paves the road for 'BCN World' $6 billion resort by issuing the urban project and reducing casino taxes

Catalonia paves the road for 'BCN World' $6 billion resort by issuing the urban project and reducing casino taxes | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona (ACN).- On Thursday, the Catalan Government published the new legal project for the area where ‘BCN World’ will be built, in order to modify the existing town-planning project and other rules. This would allow starting construction in September, as planned by the investors. In addition, it has also issued a legislative project that significantly modifies the current taxes on gambling, dropping them from a maximum rate of 55% to 10%...

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Els fills pròdigs

Els fills pròdigs | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

No ens enganyem: el món no en vol saber res, de la nostra independència.

Com tots els pobles petits, més encara quan han estat llargament oblidats, els catalans acostumem a fantasiejar amb el dia en què la família de les nacions ens obrirà les portes i ens farà seure a la taula dels grans àpats, i ens demanarà com és que hem trigat tant a tornar a casa. Ens sentim com el fill pròdig i esperem el reconeixement del pare, sense adonar-nos que les nacions són una família tan nombrosa que ja ningú no espera el retorn dels germans que no han sabut, amb afalacs o a cops de colze, fer-se un lloc a la taula quan tocava...

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Scottish independence an inspiration for Catalonia

Scottish independence an inspiration for Catalonia | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

In March of this year, delegates from Diplocat (Council of Public Diplomacy of Catalonia) attended the Constitutional Commission’s conference in Paris on a written Scottish constitution.  They appear to have drawn inspiration from it: on June 7 they held the first in a series of academic conferences at Sciences-Po Paris to explain Catalonian independence to a broader audience...

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Lionel Messi: Simply the best

Lionel Messi: Simply the best | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

When Lionel Messi was 13 years old, his family left the provincial Argentine town of Rosario and flew weeping to Barcelona. It was the boy’s first flight. Arriving in the Catalan capital, the Messis were surprised to discover that the city was on the sea...

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Serious insults from Spanish police union leader to the Catalans booing the Spanish anthem

Serious insults from Spanish police union leader to the Catalans booing the Spanish anthem | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
During the last race for the Moto Grand Prix held at Circuit of Catalonia (Montmeló) on June 16th, part of the audience booed the Spanish anthem when the trophy was being handed to the winner Jorge Lorenzo. That was not the first time the public had demonstrated negatively to Spanish national symbology at Montmeló. The victory of Llúis Salom in Moto3, Pol Espargaró in Moto2, and Jorge Lorenzo in MotoGP made it so the Spanish anthem would be played three times in total. As has become usual, the Spanish anthem was booed by part of the Catalan audience...
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