Back to homepage

Spain Politics

CATALAN POLITICS: ‘Long Road’ to Independence: Puigdemont Says

CATALAN POLITICS: ‘Long Road’ to Independence: Puigdemont Says

Catalonia’s ousted leader Carles Puigdemont’s announcement that he would accept the regional election on Dec. 21 signaled that the Madrid government had for now at least gained the upper hand in the protracted struggle over Catalonia, a wealthy northeastern region that already had considerable autonomy.

Despite his dash to the European Union’s power centre, Puigdemont’s hopes of engaging the bloc in his cause seem dim. Member states lined up after Friday’s independence declaration to assert their support for Madrid. EU institutions in Brussels say they will deal only with Madrid and that the dispute remains an internal matter.

“Our position remains unchanged,” EU Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said in Brussels on Tuesday.

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: China Stands Shoulder-to-Shoulder With Mariano Rajoy Amid Catalonia Crisis

SPAIN POLITICS: China Stands Shoulder-to-Shoulder With Mariano Rajoy Amid Catalonia Crisis

China’s position on the issue was clear and consistent, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, reiterating support previously offered to the Spanish government.

“We think this is an internal affair for Spain, and understand and support the Spanish government’s efforts to protect national and ethnic unity and territorial integrity, and oppose actions to split the country and damage the rule of law,” she told a daily news briefing on Monday.

“We believe that Spain has the ability to protect social order and guarantee citizens’ rights under the framework of the law.”

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: Catalonia Top Stories Now

SPAIN POLITICS: Catalonia Top Stories Now

The political turmoil in Spain intensified on Friday as the Madrid government dismissed Catalonia’s president and parliament hours after the region declared independence.

Pena Nieto made it clear he will stand beside Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he confronts the nation’s most acute political crisis since it embraced democracy in 1978.

“Mexico will not recognise the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia,” Pena Nieto wrote. “We hope for a political and peaceful solution.”

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero Sacked By Spain

SPAIN POLITICS: Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero Sacked By Spain

“Given that there is it is likely to be an increase in gatherings and rallies of citizens in all the territory and that there are people of different thoughts, we must remember that it is our responsibility to guarantee the security of all and help these to take place without incident,” the memo said.

chief of Catalonia’s regional police force, Josep Lluis Trapero’s dismissal was signed off by Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido.

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: Mariano Rajoy Faces Biggest Constitutional Crisis After Violent Secession Vote in Catalonia

SPAIN POLITICS: Mariano Rajoy Faces Biggest Constitutional Crisis After Violent Secession Vote in Catalonia

Puigdemont called an emergency meeting of the Catalan regional government. In Madrid, Rajoy planned to coordinate next steps in a meeting with Pedro Sanchez, leader of the opposition Socialists. Puigdemont’s comments threw down a challenge to Rajoy, who has the constitutional power to sack the regional government and put Catalonia under central control pending fresh elections.

The anti-independence newspaper El Pais wrote in an editorial of Rajoy’s “absolute inability to manage the crisis since the very beginning”.

“What happened yesterday was pathetic. When Rajoy stepped up, it was surreal. Nothing has changed and I’ve no idea how things can be fixed now,” said Elvira Ramisa, 58, talking in her kitchen in the small town of Sant Pere de Torello while the latest news blared on the radio.

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: Spanish Police Burst into Catalonia Polling Stations Confiscating Ballot Boxes, Voting Papers

SPAIN POLITICS: Spanish Police Burst into Catalonia Polling Stations Confiscating Ballot Boxes, Voting Papers

Around 70 polling stations had been raided by police, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said. The aim of the raids was to seize referendum material and not to target people wanting to vote, another senior government official said.

“This is a great opportunity. I’ve waited 80 years for this,” said 92-year-old Ramon Jordana, a former taxi driver waiting to vote in Sant Pere de Torello, a town in the foothills of the Pyrenees and a pro-independence bastion.

The Catalania government said voters could print out ballot papers at home and lodge them at any polling station not closed down by police.

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: Donald Trump Says, Catalonia Independence is ‘Foolish’ Idea, ‘I’m for United Spain’

SPAIN POLITICS: Donald Trump Says, Catalonia Independence is ‘Foolish’ Idea, ‘I’m for United Spain’

US President Donald Trump said:

“I think Spain is a great country, and it should remain united. I think the people of Catalonia have been talking about this for a long time. I’m just for a united Spain.”

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: Sunday Catalonia Independence Referendum: Madrid Says Not Going to Happen, Orders Shutdown of All Polling Stations, Deploys Thousands of Police to the Region

SPAIN POLITICS: Sunday Catalonia Independence Referendum: Madrid Says Not Going to Happen, Orders Shutdown of All Polling Stations, Deploys Thousands of Police to the Region

The Spanish government still says the referendum is illegal and vows that it will not allow this to happen.

“I insist: there will be no referendum on October 1st,” government spokesperson Inigo Mendez de Vigo said on Friday during a press conference following the weekly cabinet meeting.

“The EU should interfere not to take sides …but just to say that those measures taken by the government of Madrid are not acceptable,” Member of the European Parliament Stelios Kouloglou said.

Read Full Article
SPAIN POLITICS: Spain Seizes Catalonia Finances to Block Independence Referendum

SPAIN POLITICS: Spain Seizes Catalonia Finances to Block Independence Referendum

Catalonia and other Spanish regions pay taxes to Madrid and are given a quota to spend on essential services. The region, which is home to around 7.5 million people, receives about 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) a month from the central government.

The takeover of finances “means that from now on (Catalan leaders) no longer have their money,” said a spokeswoman for Spain’s Budget Ministry, adding that they would not have the right to allot any “extra expense” beyond those already foreseen

Read Full Article