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Archbishop of Barcelona's replacement is complicated by Vatican brinkmanship

With the removal of Rouco Varela from his post in Spain's Catholic Church hierarchy (he was Archbishop of Madrid) in August of last year, the Vatican made a strategic move.

Archbishop of Barcelona's replacement is complicated by Vatican brinkmanship

?The archbishop's situation is growing untenable, but the status of temporary power, both in Andorra and the Vatican, is under discussion in Rome

    Last week, Lluís Martínez Sistach, the Archbishop of Barcelona, turned seventy-eight. His replacement should have come some time ago, but the Holy See has repeatedly postponed it out of diplomatic prudence. The Vatican is closely following Catalonia's quest for independence.

    Sjúrður Skaale, Danish MP who introduced measure on Catalonia: 'Madrid should take a page from London'

    The Danish parliament will soon be debating the case of Catalonia's quest for independence, thanks to the members of Enhedslisten (Red and Black Alliance), a left-leaning party that holds 12 parliamentary seats out of a total of 179.

    'Independences for Catalonia? Yes, with democratic radicalism, lucidity and scandal'

    'Independences for Catalonia? Yes, with democratic radicalism, lucidity and scandal'

    Blanca Llum (Barcelona, 1986) is a poet. Among her published books are 'Homes i ocells' (Men and birds, 2012) and Punyetera flor (Damn flower, 2014). She has edited the book 'Dues Catalunyes' (Two Catalonias), by Angel Carmona, and the poetry of Angel Guimerà. She 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 President Rajoy and the lobby Puente Aéreo, without Rato, are joining together against separatism

    A month from municipal elections and five months before 27-S, the Spanish President has called for a lunch with representatives of Puente Aero, a lobby made up of forty influential businessmen from Madrid and Barcelona.

    The Spanish Constitutional Court suspends the Catalan Foreign Affairs law

    The Spanish Constitutional Court suspends the Catalan Foreign Affairs law

    The Generalitat maintains foreign action despite the Spanish attack

    The foreign affairs law of the Government of Catalonia is one of the obsessions of the ruling party PP and the government of Mariano Rajoy. 

    'The Spanish Intelligence Center put a radical in charge of the Spanish Islamic Commission'

    Spain's interior minister has sought to link Islamic radicalism and Catalan independence, and to stir up some trouble for Fundació Nous Catalans, a nonprofit that works to help immigrants integrate and put down roots in Catalonia.

    Sant Jordi festival: the story told through the prism of the legend, the rose and the book

    Hundreds of people go out for a stroll around the book stands, to buy a rose or attend one of the many programmed events

    Sant Jordi, celebrated on the 23rd of April, is one of the best-loved festivals in the Catalan calendar. Even when it falls on a working day, hundreds of people go out for a stroll around the book stands, to buy a rose or attend one of the many programmed events.

    Catalonia exports its #BooksAndRoses tradition to the world

    Catalonia exports its #BooksAndRoses tradition to the world

    There will be activities in 32 countries worldwide and a group of foreign journalists will spend the day in Barcelona

    Mas in New York: 'Spain has to be what it wants to be, but Catalonia has to too, without being imposed on'

    Mas in New York: 'Spain has to be what it wants to be, but Catalonia has to too, without being imposed on'

    Before an audience of more than three hundred people, the President of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, last night gave a talk (pdf) at Columbia University in New York, where he stated that the time has come for Catalonia to create an independent state. Mas described the current situation of the Catalonia and assured that if the people vote for the independentist parties in September, the separation process will be started.

    ANC's plan for Eleventh September: Fill Barcelona's Meridiana Avenue

    ANC's plan for Eleventh September: Fill Barcelona's Meridiana Avenue

    Presented its plans for a rally on Catalonia's National Day

    Portrayal of 9-N offers glimpse into inner workings of Catalan political power

    Portrayal of 9-N offers glimpse into inner workings of Catalan political power

    ?In his new book, Vicent Partal chronicles the journey that led to the 9-N vote

    The new book by VilaWeb's news director, Vicent Partal, 'Desclassificat 9-N. Història secreta d'una votació revolucionària', recounts the events that allowed more than two million Catalan citizens to vote on Catalonia's secession from Spain. 

    Carles Boix: 'It's time for Mas to go all out for independence'

    Carles Boix: 'It's time for Mas to go all out for independence'

    Interview with Princeton University professor

    Carles Boix is among the most authoritative voices in the discussion of Catalonia's process of secession from Spain. As a professor of politics at Princeton University, he has devoted many years to the study of secession processes among stateless nations.

    'I would be thrilled to be a part of the parliament that proclaimed independence'

    'I would be thrilled to be a part of the parliament that proclaimed independence'

    Interview with Carme Forcadell, the president of the ANC

    For the past three years, Carmen Forcadell has been president of the civil society organization that has lead the movement seeking Catalonia's secession from Spain. The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has organized the three largest political demonstrations in Europe's history.

    Jaume Plensa: 'Works of art are a little David facing a giant architectural Goliath'

    From his studio, Plensa shares his thoughts on the humanisation of art and the role of his art in public spaces

    Jaume Plensa: 'Works of art are a little David facing a giant architectural Goliath'

    Sculptor Jaume Plensa has just won the Barcelona City Prize in the 'International Impact' category. 

    The studio of sculptor Jaume Plensa occupies a warehouse in an industrial estate in Sant Feliu de Llobregat. A bare, icy space with no remarkable features, it initially seemed to Plensa a place of exile. But now he's made it his own: 'It's a non-place, situated between a rubbish tip, which I see as a storage facility for memories, and the cemetery, which is the future.

    Haggadot: The Jewish splendor of the Catalan Gothic

    Haggadot: The Jewish splendor of the Catalan Gothic

    After six centuries the Jewish haggadot return to Barcelona

    CDC and ERC signed a preliminary agreement for the proclamation of independence

    CDC and ERC signed a preliminary agreement for the proclamation of independence

    The ruling party and the opposition have formalized the draft

    The preliminary agreement of the roadmap of the unitary process towards sovereignty that was reached a few days ago has been formalized. 

    The CUP, prepared to be added to the roadmap towards independence

    The roadmap agreed upon yesterday is seen favorably by the third Catalan separatist party of the Catalan parliament, the CUP, which is prepared to join it. 

    Rajoy sets in motion new challenge against independence roadmap

    Rajoy sets in motion new challenge against independence roadmap

    He has commissioned a report to weigh a lawsuit against the text

    Albert Royo: 'Often we are not told about pressures from Spain for the sake of discretion'

    Albert Royo: 'Often we are not told about pressures from Spain for the sake of discretion'

    Interview with the Secretary General of Diplocat

    'The key to the success of the [independence] process is winning the battle for international public opinion', says Albert Royo. 'And I think we are on track', says the Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat).

    Catalonia's Day of Books and Roses goes international

    Catalonia's Day of Books and Roses goes international

    DIPLOCAT sets up new web page that brings together all activities related to Sant Jordi festival being celebrated around the world

    Catalan cuisine

    Catalan gastronomy: Easter eggs and the mona

    Catalan gastronomy: Easter eggs and the mona

    Godparents give the 'mona' to their godchildren on the Sunday of Pasqua Florida (the Feast of Flowers), or the day after

    Easter includes a culinary treat eagerly awaited by the little ones: the 'mona'. Today, after centuries of evolution, the 'mona de Pasqua' is a sweet, normally made of chocolate, that comes in various forms, often related to the annual trends for children. It seems that the word 'mona' could be derived from the Arabic word 'munah', which means gift. For a long time, until well into the 20th century, it was traditional for the cake makers and also householders, to make 'tortells' (ring cakes) and 'coques' (a sweet bread) with hard-boiled eggs on the top, which godparents gave to their godchildren on the Sunday of Pasqua Florida (the Feast of Flowers), or the day after. 

    Catalan gastronomy: Bunyols de Quaresma

    Catalan gastronomy: Bunyols de Quaresma

    They are usually eaten during Lent and Holy Week

    The MACBA censored an exhibition showing a sculpture of the former King

    The exhibition 'The beast and the sovereign' at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art open its doors finally, after it was canceled because of disagreements between the organizing team and the managers of the museum.

    The no vote to the independence of Catalonia extends its advantage, according to the CEO

    A no vote to independence would today be the result of a referendum on the independence of Catalonia, according to the barometer of the Centre for Opinion Studies (Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió - CEO) made public today. 

    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'.

    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 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'

    Culture

    Albert Serra: Divine Visionaries and Holy Fools at Tate Modern

    Albert Serra: Divine Visionaries and Holy Fools at Tate Modern

    Tate Modern presents the first major survey in the UK of maverick filmmaker Albert Serra, a powerful and unique voice in contemporary cinema

        Tate Modern presents the first major survey in the UK of maverick filmmaker Albert Serra, a powerful and unique voice in contemporary cinema. Serra's vivid and subversive work draws on the history of literature and art. Albert Serra will present a unique preview of his latest in-development project 'Singularity', commissioned for the Catalan participation at the Venice Biennale as a Collateral Event. 

        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 Spanish Government wants to block the Catalan Law of Foreign Affairs

        The Spanish Government wants to block the Catalan Law of Foreign Affairs

        It will submit an appeal against the law before the Constitutional Court 

        The vice-president of the Spanish Government, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría announced that the Spanish government has decided to file an appeal before the Constitutional Court against the Catalan Government's Law of Foreign Affairs. 

        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.  

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

          Human rights violations are a constant in Azerbaijan; political dissent is punished, and, at present, political activists have been held in prison for many months on dubious charges and without trial. 

          '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

                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

                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