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A PP senator for Valencia is masking the brutality of the regime in Azerbaijan

A PP senator for Valencia is masking the brutality of the regime in Azerbaijan

Pedro Agramunt Font de Mora has submitted reports to the Council of Europe praising the Azerbaijani government while it continues to engage in repression

One of the organisms charged with ensuring the respect for human rights in Azerbaijan is the Council of Europe, and its rapporteur to Azerbaijan is the Valencian PP Senator Pedro Agramunt Font de Mora. Several human rights groups have accused him of accepting bribes from president Ilham Aliyev's regime. 

Rift in Catalan Green Left over Secessionism

Rift in Catalan Green Left over Secessionism

ICV's bid for a confederal model rattles the party's pro-independence ranks · Raül Romeva abandons the party

Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV), the party of the Catalan Green Left, has defined itself around the issue of Catalan independence. The party, which favours the right to decide on the nation's political future and supported the unofficial 9-N independence vote, has come out in favour of a confederal model, in which a free and sovereign Catalonia 'will be able to fit into a plurinational Spain'.

Faces of independence

'I want independence also for the victims that fell while struggling to raise our nation's flag''

'I want independence also for the victims that fell while struggling to raise our nation's flag''

'Faces of independence': Well-known figures from around the country explain why they want independence

Pilar Rahola, journalist, writer and member of the Catalan Government's National Transition Advisory Council (CATN) answers to the questions of the 'Faces of independence' series, in which well-known figures from around the country explain why they want independence and what an independent Catalonia might bring the world.

Spanish justice suspends for three years Judge Vidal for an offence of opinion

Spanish justice suspends for three years Judge Vidal for an offence of opinion

He promoted and presented a proposal for a Catalan constitution. 

The Spanish General Council of Judicial Power (CGPJ) has suspended for three years judge Santiago Vidal from the Barcelona Audience for having promoted and presented a proposal for a Catalan constitution.  The maximum body of judicial power considers that Vidal's attitude has caused 'a clear and inexcusable repeated inobservance of such important duties as his juridical status'.

The removal of Judge Vidal is an accelerated turn to Francoism

The removal of Judge Vidal is an accelerated turn to Francoism

'The legislative, executive and judicial powers are ever more mixed in the Spanish state'

'A technological and good living city is the right combination for creating industry'

An interview with Manel Sanromà, Chief Information Officer of the Barcelona City Council, on the prospects and challenges of the Mobile World Congress.

Sanromà explains in this interview that you can watch in video the Mobile World Congress (MWC). MWC  is being held in Barcelona from March 2-5 and it is a great opportunity to show everything that this city can offer to the world and at the same time making it one of the world's technological capital

Catalan companies at the Mobile World Congress

Catalan companies at the Mobile World Congress

One hundred Catalan companies exhibiting proposals to revolutionize both everyday life and business

      One hundred Catalan companies are exhibiting proposals over the next few days at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, an opportunity to show their products to the world. 

      A Guide to the 2015 Mobile World Congress

      A Guide to the 2015 Mobile World Congress

      Practical and key information to navigate the convention and the city

        The Constitutional Court unanimously annuls the 9-N independence vote

        The Constitutional Court unanimously annuls the 9-N independence vote

        It also suspends to precepts of the voting law 

          The Spanish Constitutional Court has agreed to declare unconstitutional, and therefore , the original call to the independence vote of 9 November (9-N) and two precepts of the non referendary voting law.  It has done so unanimously and has brought to an end a process which the Spanish government started on 29 September 2014 when it presented the two appeals and forced the suspension of the texts.  

          Amadeu Altafaj: 'There are no arguments for trying to brake Catalonia's foreign action'

          Amadeu Altafaj: 'There are no arguments for trying to brake Catalonia's foreign action'

          The Catalan government representative in the European Union

          The permanent representative of the Government of Catalonia before the European Union, Amadeu Altafaj, has said that 'there are no arguments for trying to brake' Catalonia's foreign activity. 

          Catalonia seen from the outside

          Catalonia seen from the outside

          Catalonia is still in the headlines. It is one of the top media stories all around the world. We offer you an updated list of the news stories that focus on the Catalan independence political process

          Mas announces a plan to disconnect from Spain

          In half a year he will promote state structures, the deployment of Catalonia's own tax office and make an inventory of strategic infrastructures.

          In the seven months remaining before the elections of 27 September, the government has to get down to work, to ready itself and to prepare Catalonia's disconnection from Spain. This was the idea transmitted by the President of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, at the press conference at which he presented the ten lines of action for the coming months.

          Xavier Vinader: 'The extreme right now wears Armani'

          Xavier Vinader: 'The extreme right now wears Armani'

          Interviewing the journalist, the protagonist of the documentary 'Xavier Vinader, a journalist against the dirty war'

          This week the Catalan television broadcasted the documentary 'Xavier Vinader, a journalist against the dirty war '. This film by Angel Leiro and Xavier Montanyà explains one of the most important investigative journalists from Catalonia.

          Catalonia plans to declare independence if Spain refuses to negotiate

          Catalonia plans to declare independence if Spain refuses to negotiate

          The Catalan foreign secretary condemned the Spanish government's roadblocking of Catalonia's diplomatic efforts

          Culture

          The Choir School of Montserrat's historic tour in China

          The Choir School of Montserrat's historic tour in China

          The children's choir will present two major concerts in Beijing and Shanghai

            The Choir School of Montserrat (Escolania de Montserrat in Catalan), a children's choir of child trebles based at the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat (near Barcelona), will be performing between the 23rd of February and the 10th of March, in a historic tour in China. They were invited by a Chinese cultural promoter following their success in the United States in March of 2014, with performances in New York and Washington.

            Àlex Susanna: 'As a language and as a culture we have long been independent'

            In this interview Susanna reports the control that Spanish embassies have long exerted over Catalan activity abroad. 'There is a control which is belligerent in some cases', he affirms.

            Àlex Susanna: 'As a language and as a culture we have long been independent'

            An interview with the director of the Institut Ramon Llull, the entity which deals with internationalising Catalan culture

            The Institut Ramon Llull is the body responsible for projecting the Catalan culture abroad.  According to its director, Àlex Susanna, the work the Institute can do goes further. 'The Catalan culture is a very effective calling card of Catalonia, of the country'. In 2014, important steps were taken, he explains.

            Ian Duncan: 'There is no correlation between the Catalan case and the Ukraine'

            Ian Duncan: 'There is no correlation between the Catalan case and the Ukraine'

            Interview with the British member of the European Parliament

            Ian Duncan is a British member of the European Parliament for the Conservative party. A staunch Unionist, he was also very much in favour of a referendum in Scotland and therefore also came to Catalonia on 9-N as an international observer.

            Centre-right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU heals wounds after last week's dispute

            Centre-right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU heals wounds after last week's dispute

            The coalition's leadership considers the crisis to be over

            Barcelona-based online travel agency eDreams to start business in Japan

            Barcelona-based online travel agency eDreams to start business in Japan

            Japan is the world's second-largest market for travel agencies

            The Catalan company announced on Monday that it will start working in Japan, the world's second-largest market for travel agencies.

            The Spanish government studies an appeal against the opening of new Catalan government delegations

            The Government of Catalonia plans to open some fifty delegations around the world in the coming months and years. The announcement comes on the day when the new delegates in Rome and Vienna take up their posts. 

            Deutsche Bank says that tax pillaging feeds independence

            Deutsche Bank says that tax pillaging feeds independence

            The bank has published a report that criticises the share-out of wealth among the territories of the Spanish state

            Jaume Cabré reflects on the creative process

            Jaume Cabré reflects on the creative process

            One of the most international of Catalan authors publishes an essay following the acclaimed novel 'Jo confesso' (I confess)

            Sita Murt, TCN, Josep Abril and Txell Miras: 080 Barcelona Fashion Week showcase the main fashion Catalan names

            Another day of glamour came to an end as the second day of 080 Barcelona Fashion week was dominated by Desigual which surpassed expectations by ending the day with a lively and quirky showcasing of their collection.

            Catalan economy grew by 1.2% in 2014, the best year since 2007

            Catalan economy grew by 1.2% in 2014, the best year since 2007

            The figure is higher than the 0.9% economic growth foreseen in the budget for 2014

            Another positive figure has emerged to confirm  the economic recovery after years of crisis. Catalonia's GDP grew by 1.2% over 2014, which are the best figures since 2007, before the financial crisis.

            Pope Francis welcomes FC Barcelona to the Vatican

            Pope Francis welcomes FC Barcelona to the Vatican

            Barça signed an agreement between the Catalan club's Foundation and the Scholas Occurrentes charity

            A FC Barcelona delegation led by President Josep Maria Bartomeu was in the Vatican City on Thursday to sign an agreement between the Catalan club's Foundation and the Scholas Occurrentes charity.

            People's Party delays approval of Catalan Government's 2015 budget 'to stop independence'

            The conservative Spanish nationalist People's Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government but only holds 14% of the seats in the Catalan Parliament, has appealed against the Catalan Executive's 2015 budget bill.

            A team of judges and experts presents a draft constitution for an independent Catalonia

            A team of judges and experts presents a draft constitution for an independent Catalonia

            The threat looms of disciplinary action against him from the Spanish judiciary?

            Judge Santiago Vidal, a magistrate of the Provincial Court of Barcelona, reacted forcefully to the request issued by Spain's Attorney General's office to remove him from the bench for helping write a draft proposal for a Catalan constitution.

            The evening of Catalan cinema

            The evening of Catalan cinema

            '10,000 km.' and 'El niño' were the two films most awarded at the seventh gala of the Premis Gaudí awards

            Antoni Castellà: 'If independence wins on 27-S, we must make a deal with Podemos in Madrid'

            Antoni Castellà: 'If independence wins on 27-S, we must make a deal with Podemos in Madrid'

            In an interview with Vilaweb, the member of the steering committee of Unió Democràtica de Catalunya reveals the post-election strategy he would favour

            One of the unknowns in the months before the 27 September parliamentary elections in Catalonia, which are being billed as a de facto plebiscite on Catalan independence from Spain, is the role that Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC) will be playing. Unió is the ally of President Mas's own party, Convergència.

            According to a study by the Professional Association of Economists of Catalonia (Col·legi d'Economistes), an independent Catalonia would obtain a much better grade from rating agencies than it currently gets, taking into account its diversified economy and higher GDP per capita than the European average. Specifically, it would obtain an A+ rating, 7 levels higher than Catalonia's current BB 'junk bond', using Standard&Poor's classification.

            Pau Vidal: 'Bilingualism kills'

            One of the latest to take up the issue is philologist Pau Vidal, who has just published the book El Bilinguisme Mata (bilingualism kills).

            Pau Vidal: 'Bilingualism kills'

            Interview with the philologist

            The independence process in Catalonia has put on the table the debate regarding the official status of the Catalan language in a new state. The two main separatist parties, the ruling Convergència i Unió, and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, both favour Catalan and Castilian being co-official languages, arguing that this would attract newcomers to the separatist cause whose mother tongue is not Catalan. Experts, however, warn of the dangers of continuing with the imposed policy of bilingualism in an independent Catalonia.

            Catalonia defends its retail opening hours law after Spanish Government's appeal

            The Catalan Parliament has recently delivered a petition to the Constitutional Court to defend the Catalan law on opening hours, which is more restrictive than the Spanish one.

            Harvard expert Adam Price: Catalonia 'would have done better' as an independent state

            Adam Price, most noticeably known for his roles as a former Member of Westminster Parliament explains that it 'would be very difficult' to state that an independent Catalan state would not be economically prosperous.

            Former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, his wife and 3 of their children testify before judge for fiscal fraud

            After confessing that his family had kept some ?4 million in Andorra without informing tax authorities for 34 years Jordi Pujol, his wife and 3 of their 7 children testified before the Barcelona-based judge investigating the case.

            How did Catalan left-wing parties react to Syriza's alliance with the right?

            How did Catalan left-wing parties react to Syriza's alliance with the right?

            Vilaweb spoke with Podemos ans EUiA about Greek PM Tsipras' coalition government

            Syriza, the leftwing anti-austerity party which won the general elections in Greece on Sunday, has formed a government with Independent Greeks (also known as Anel), a rightwing political party which favours populist, anti-European policies.

            FC Barcelona to tour the USA and Mexico in the summer

            Curiously enough, both trips across the Atlantic came after the blaugranes had claimed the Champions League title.

            FC Barcelona to tour the USA and Mexico in the summer

            The blaugranes will be returning to American soil for the fourth time in the last ten years

            FC Barcelona will go on a tour of the United States of America and Mexico in the summer four years after their last pre-season tour of the continent. Despite dates not yet being confirmed, the Catalan club has made official the news that the blaugranes will be returning to American soil for the fourth time in the last ten years. Previously, the blaugranes visited the US in 2003 with stops in Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and in 2006 they visited the US and Mexico.

            Empúries ancient Greek ruins on the Costa Brava to be upgraded

            Empúries ancient Greek ruins on the Costa Brava to be upgraded

            It will be developed to improve access for visitors

            A site known as the home of the best ancient Greek ruins outside of Greece is to be developed to improve access for visitors. The ruins were originally built in 575BC and work to develop the site has been ongoing for more than 20 years.

            Catalonia approves special status for Occitan Val d'Aran, including its right to self-determination

            The Catalan Parliament approved on Wednesday the Law on the Val d'Aran's special status within Catalonia, recognising its "Occitan national reality" and its right to self-determination.

            Altafaj: 'The European leaders are taking the process in Catalonia very seriously'

            The Catalan Government representative before the European Union, Amadeu Altafaj, has commented that the European leaders are taking the process of Catalonia, which is already on the international agenda, very seriously.

            Spanish authorities ban Catalan tax on overall bank deposits

            Spanish authorities ban Catalan tax on overall bank deposits

            Such a decision represents the automatic suspension of the issue 

            The Constitutional Court has accepted to debate the Spanish Government's last appeal against the Catalan Executive's tax on bank deposits, which has to be paid by financial entities depending on the amount of their overall deposits.

            'Cas 4-F': A documentary raises important questions on police action

            The documentary says that the 'Cas 4-F' is one of the most serious scandals of police negligence

            'Cas 4-F': A documentary raises important questions on police action

            'Ciutat Morta' (literally, 'Dead City') was broadcast on Saturday on Catalan public television and tells the story of events that took place in 2006.  The case had a tragic ending, Patricia Heras committed suicide because she could not stand being condemned for things she had not done.

            The broadcasting of the documentary 'Ciutat Morta' on Saturday once more raised the case of the 'Cas 4-F' and produced widespread discussion on the police action, while raising many questions on events which took place in 2006.

            Left-wing pro-independence ERC paves the way for Catalan Government's 2015 budget

            This week, each Minister is presenting the budget of their departments for the current year to the Catalan Parliament, as part of the regular approval process.

            Left-wing pro-independence ERC paves the way for Catalan Government's 2015 budget

            ERC MPs started to withdraw their full amendments to the different sections of the Catalan Government's budget for 2015

            Following the agreement reached last week between the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the President of the left-wing pro-independence party ERC, Oriol Junqueras, on calling early elections, the Catalan Executive's budget for 2015 is now closer to definitive approval.

            Catalans have referendum on independence via early elections

            Catalans have referendum on independence via early elections

            The early elections will be held on 27th of September

            Catalans support victims of Jihadist attack against 'Charlie Hebdo'

            Catalans support victims of Jihadist attack against 'Charlie Hebdo'

            Spontaneous demonstrations were organised in front of the French Consulate in Barcelona

            On Wednesday evening, spontaneous demonstrations were organised in front of the French Consulate in Barcelona and in other places across Catalonia in solidarity with the victims and in condemnation of the Jihadist slaughter in Paris.

            Crisis at FC Barcelona: elections at the end of the season

            Crisis at FC Barcelona: elections at the end of the season

            The president of FC Barcelona has announced that there will be elections at the end of the season

            Has announced in a press conference called to talk about the dismissal of Andoni Zubizarreta the day before yesterday. He called for decency from the candidates and announced that he would be standing. 

            Amadeu Altafaj to represent Catalan Government in the European Union

            Amadeu Altafaj to represent Catalan Government in the European Union

            It will increase the political weight of the Catalan Government Delegation

            Catalan riders Marc Coma and Laia Sanz make history at Dakar 2015

            Catalonia had a large representation in this edition, with racers in all four categories, especially in motorbikes

            Catalan riders Marc Coma and Laia Sanz make history at Dakar 2015

            Sanz finished the race in ninth position, the best place for a woman of all time

            Two Catalans, Marc Coma and Laia Sanz, made history this weekend at the end of the Dakar Rally 2015. Motorbike rider Marc Coma won his fifth Dakar, equalling the five titles of French drivers Cyril Neveu and Cyril Despres. Coma is now the second driver with the most triumphs in the category, just one victory less than Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel. The 29 year-old Catalan rider, Laia Sanz, finished the race in ninth position, the best place for a woman of all time.

            New ferry connects Barcelona and Savona

            New ferry connects Barcelona and Savona

            The brand new 'Florencia' is 186m long and can carry 1,000 passengers and 170 cars

              Mas-Colell will contract 170 professionals for the Catalonia Tax Agency

              Mas-Colell will contract 170 professionals for the Catalonia Tax Agency

              The budget for Economy and Growth is growing by 5.2%