Was this an earthquake in Spanish politics? Not quite, but it’s coming soon

Catalan MonitorThe Guardian

Historic victory for Ada Colau in municipal elections in Barcelona (The Guardian)

Despite being left aside for the duration of the campaign it’s still there: the stubborn Catalan issue. At least in theory, there will be a Catalan regional election in September which – if it finally takes place – will be no ordinary vote. The Catalan government intends to turn it into a referendum on independence, no less, and if Sunday’s results are replicated then it may actually win it.

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International media report on anti-Catalan hate speech following plane crash

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

spain-mocking-tweets

Twitter user @elsomatent compiled a news digest from international media reactions to the surge of abuse and hatred speech against the victims of the German Wings air crash which took place yesterday, March 24. Spain’s interior ministry today announced it will prosecute the authors of tens of mocking messages on social media.

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Why 2015 Will Create a More Fragmented Spain

Catalan MonitorStratfor

Why 2015 Will Create a More Fragmented Spain (Stratfor)

The elections in Catalonia will be somewhat different because they will be directly linked to the issue of independence. After the Catalan government failed to organize a binding independence referendum in 2014 — Madrid blocked the idea, forcing Catalonia to hold a nonbinding consultation — the ruling Convergence and Union party decided to call for early elections.

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Government of Catalonia endorses a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Government of Catalonia endorses a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

The government of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia supports the international campaign for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. In a formal ceremony, the Catalan Secretary for Foreign and European Union Affairs, Roger Albinyana, and the Catalan Director General for Multilateral and European Affairs, Manuel Manonelles, signed a document stating the government’s endorsement.

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Backing for a separate Catalan state fades

Catalan MonitorThe Scotsman

Backing for a separate Catalan state fades (The Scotsman)

Exactly a year ago an opinion poll carried out by the Catalan government showed 60 per cent in favour of independence. By December the figure had dropped to 44.5 per cent.

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Catalan Business Comes Out

Catalan MonitorThe Wall Street Journal

Catalan Business Comes Out

Some surveys suggest Catalan business executives are more wary of secession than the general population. A survey published in July by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP found just over a quarter favored a referendum on independence, while more than half favored some kind of negotiated solution to keep Spain together.

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Catalan Tax Rebels Dig In for Battle to Escape From Spain

Catalan MonitorBloomberg

Artur Mas (Bloomberg)

A doctor, a graphic designer and a lawyer from Catalonia are road-testing a mechanism for paying taxes that could give the regional president, Artur Mas, a decisive weapon in his campaign to force independence from Spain.

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Catalan Independence Push Opens Divisions in Mas’s Party

Catalan MonitorBloomberg

Artur Mas (Bloomberg)

Mas’s decision to plow ahead with preparations for a Catalan state in defiance of the Spanish government is creating tensions between Convergencia and Unio, the two parties that form his CiU movement. Unio’s Ramon Espadaler, home affairs chief in the regional government, said he opposes a unilateral declaration of independence and Mas, who leads Convergencia, shouldn’t make any moves without the approval of national authorities in Madrid.

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Le président catalan veut préparer l’Etat régional à l’indépendance

Catalan MonitorLa Tribune

Le président catalan veut préparer l'Etat régional à l'indépendance (La Tribune)

Le président de la Generalitat, le gouvernement régional catalan, Artur Mas, a annoncé mardi 17 février, un plan pour « déconnecter » la région de l’Espagne. Ce plan s’inscrit dans le cadre de la convocation, le 27 septembre prochain, des comices électoraux catalans. Cette élection sera très particulière puisque les partis indépendantistes veulent en faire un scrutin « plébiscitaire », autrement dit une sorte de référendum de fait sur l’indépendance de la Catalogne.

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“You, a convicted minister!” – namecalling and mudslinging in the Catalan parliament

Catalan MonitoropenDemocracy

"You, a convicted minister!" - namecalling and mudslinging in the Catalan parliament (openDemocracy)

One thing is certain: the courts’ repeated rulings against Rigau’s ministry do sound a bit biased; they don’t  acknowledge the awesome job that’s been carried out in Catalonia – bilingualism can now be universally achieved: a synaptic feast. In a land where the levers of power have lately been in the hands of native Catalan speakers, making the language available to everyone is an act of generosity.

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Jordi Domingo: ‘Spain has never broken away from Francoism’

Catalan MonitorVilaweb

Jordi Domingo: ‘Spain has never broken away from Francoism’ (Vilaweb)

Jordi Domingo, lawyer, 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.

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Why Catalonia needs an Edinburgh Agreement

Catalan MonitorBlog

Scottish Conservative MEP Ian Duncan

“It remains unclear how the Catalan conundrum will be resolved. […] My gut feeling is that the issue will only be resolved when the politicians from Barcelona and Madrid sit in the same room and hammer out their own Edinburgh Agreement. Then it will work.”

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Spain and Catalonia: Mas observation

Catalan MonitorThe Economist

Catalan president Artur Mas (The Economist)

Catalan independence, if it ever happens, has been pushed back at least seven months after the region’s president, Artur Mas, decided not to call a snap election but to opt instead for September 27th.

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Catalonia’s diplomatic offensive

Catalan MonitorLe Figaro

Le Figaro

La Catalogne va se doter de nouvelles représentations à l’étranger en 2015, pour anticiper une éventuelle sécession si le camp indépendantiste l’emporte lors des élections régionales annoncées pour septembre, a-t-on appris aujourd’hui auprès de son exécutif.

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Catalans critical of Mas snap election delay

Catalan MonitorThe Scotsman

Catalans critical of Mas snap election delay - The Scotsman

There will be no joint slate but candidates will stand on an as-yet-to-be-defined “road map for independence”. The news of the poll has been received with little more than a shrug by ordinary Catalans, many of whom see what began as a popular movement being hijacked by the political old guard.

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Catalan leaders announce early elections in September

Catalan MonitorFeature

Agreement for early election (Government of Catalonia)

2015 is definitely set to be a crucial year in Catalonia and Spain politics. Following Artur Mas’ call of regional elections, Catalans will be summoned to polling booths up to three times throughout the year.

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Simon Harris: “Keys to the Mas-Junqueras Agreement”

Catalan MonitorCatalonia is Not Spain, News Roundup

Catalonia is Not Spain site screenshot

The Mas-Junqueras Agreement reached last night comes as great relief as it allows the Catalan independence process to move forward with elections on September 27th 2015. However, the two leaders have agreed on other aspects that will hopefully allow Catalonia to become independent following the elections.

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Catalonia sets date for early elections

Catalan MonitorEl País

Catalan independence (El País)

September 27 is the next big date on the Catalan leader’s calendar for regional independence, a project that reached a climax on November 9 last year with an informal referendum on self-rule that was closely followed by the Madrid central government.

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Catalan Leader Calls Early Vote in Push for Independence

Catalan MonitorBloomberg

Artur Mas (Bloomberg)

Mas reached an agreement with his separatist rival, Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras, to run separate tickets, but with a common road map toward secession, making it a de facto referendum on secession.

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