Guindos ofrece negociar la financiacin autonmica si se retira el referndum | Economa

El ministro de Economa, Luis de Guindos.

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Referndum Catalua 1-O: Los ltimos guardias civiles atrapados en la Conselleria de Economa logran salir del edificio

Uno de los coches de la Guardia Civil destrozado por los manifestantes.

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La ley prevalecer | Opinion Home

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Catalan president says Madrid is suspending region’s autonomy | World news

Catalonia’s president has accused the Spanish government of suspending the region’s autonomy after police intensified efforts to stop a vote on independence that has sparked one of the worst political crises since Spain’s return to democracy four decades ago.

Spanish Guardia Civil officers raided a dozen Catalan regional government offices and arrested 14 senior officials on Wednesday as part of an operation to stop the referendum from taking place on 1 October.

Carles Puigdemont, the head of Catalonia’s pro-sovereignty government, described the raids as a “a co-ordinated police assault” that showed that Madrid “has de facto suspended self-government and applied a de facto state of emergency” in Catalonia.

He also appeared to draw a parallel between the raids and the repression and abuses of the Franco dictatorship, tweeting: “We will not accept a return to the darkest times. The government is in favour of liberty and democracy.”

Speaking after an emergency ministerial meeting, Puigdemont vowed the poll would go ahead.

“We reaffirm our peaceful response,” he said. “The Spanish government has crossed a red line and become a democratic disgrace.”

The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, called the raids “a democratic scandal” and said Catalans would defend their institutions.

Ada Colau
(@AdaColau)

Es un escàndol democràtic que s’escorcolli institucions i es detinguin càrrecs públics per motius polítics. Defensem institucions catalanes


September 20, 2017

Tensions between Madrid and Barcelona have escalated rapidly over recent days as the government of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, attempts to make good its promise to stop the vote.

On Wednesday morning, Spain’s interior ministry announced it was cancelling leave for all the Guardia Civil and national police officers tasked with preventing the referendum. In a statement, it said the affected officers would have to be available between 20 September and 5 October, but added the period could be extended if necessary.

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The Spanish government argues that any referendum on Catalan independence would be illegal because the country’s 1978 constitution makes no provision for a vote on self-determination.

The Spanish constitutional court, which has suspended the referendum law pushed through the Catalan parliament earlier this month, is looking into whether the law breaches the constitution.

In March this year, the former Catalan president Artur Mas was banned from holding public office for two years after being found guilty of disobeying the constitutional court by holding a symbolic independence referendum three years ago.

The raids come a day after the Guardia Civil confiscated referendum documents from the offices of a private delivery firm in the Catalan city of Terrassa. More than 1.5m referendum leaflets and posters have also been seized.

The Catalan high court said that police acting on a judge’s orders had searched 42 premises on Wednesday – including six regional government offices – adding that 20 people were being investigated for alleged disobedience, abuse of power and embezzlement related to the referendum.

The regional government confirmed that Josep Maria Jové, secretary general of economic affairs and an aide to the Catalan vice-president, and Lluis Salvado, the secretary of taxation, were among those arrested.

The Spanish interior ministry said that police had confiscated nearly 10m ballot papers. Polling station signs and documents for electoral officers were also seized during a raid on a warehouse in a small town outside Barcelona.

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont.



The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont. Photograph: Andreu Dalmau/EPA

As news of the arrests emerged, a crowd began to gather outside the finance ministry, one of the targets of the raids. By mid morning the crowd had swelled to more than 2,000 people blocking Gran Via, one of Barcelona’s principal thoroughfares.

By late afternoon, under the clatter of surveillance helicopters and with a heavy police presence, the angry but peaceful rally had grown to some 5,000, with hundreds more people joining as they finished work or got out of school.

The crowd, breaking into the Catalan national anthem and waving placards reading “We are voting to be free,” began by chanting “No tinc por” (I’m not afraid) – the slogan used in response to last month’s terrorist attacks in the city.

But the chant was soon replaced by a new cry: “Occupation forces out!”

Smaller demonstrations were being held in other parts of the city, blocking major roads and causing traffic chaos. The mood was tense and very different from the party atmosphere at the million-strong pro-independence rally a little over a week ago.

Catalonia is mainly policed by the local Mossos d’Esquadra. The paramilitary Guardia Civil, strongly associated in some people’s minds with the fascist dictatorship, is rarely seen in the region.

There were steel barriers and a heavy police presence outside the Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of the Catalan government, on Wednesday. Outside the finance ministry, Joan Tardà, a Catalan MP, appealed for calm.

“They’re trying to derail us,” he told the crowd. “Our strength lies in being resolute, but in a civilised and peaceful manner.”

Catalan police officers try to disperse protesters in Barcelona



Catalan police officers try to disperse protesters in Barcelona Photograph: Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

Rajoy’s government argues that any referendum on Catalan independence would be illegal because the country’s 1978 constitution makes no provision for a vote on self-determination.

The Spanish constitutional court, which has suspended the referendum law pushed through the Catalan parliament earlier this month, is looking into whether the law breaches the constitution.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, the prime minister defended the government’s actions, saying Puigdemont and his supporters were trying to “eliminate the constitution” and were ignoring the law.

“Logically, the state has to react,” he said. “There is no democratic state in the world that would accept what these people are trying to do. They’ve been warned and they know the referendum can’t take place.”

The raids signal a significant escalation of Madrid’s efforts to stop the vote from proceeding – as do remarks from the Spanish foreign minister, who has accused some separatists of using a “Nazi” approach to intimidate Catalan mayors opposed to secession.

“Referendums are a weapon of choice of dictators,” said Alfonso Dastis in an interview with Bloomberg in New York on Tuesday. “These people actually are taking some Nazi attitudes because they are putting up posters with the faces of mayors who are resisting their call to participate in this charade.

“A referendum isn’t the same as a democracy. Gen Franco organised two referendums.”

Spain’s finance ministry has also launched a crackdown on the regional government’s finances, limiting new credit and requiring central supervision for payment of non-essential services.

Although more than 70% of Catalonia’s 7.5 million people are in favour of a referendum, surveys suggest they are almost evenly split on the issue of independence.

A survey two months ago showed 49.4% of Catalans were against independence while 41.1% were in favour.

More than 80% of participants opted for independence in a symbolic poll three years ago – although only 2.3 million of Catalonia’s 5.4 million eligible voters took part.

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Pro-independence protesters rally after Catalan officials arrested – video report | World news

Thousands of people have demonstrated in Barcelona after Spanish police officers arrested 12 Catalan officials in a bid to stop an upcoming independence referendum. Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont says the Spanish central government has effectively suspended the region’s autonomy. Prime minister Mariano Rajoy insists the independence vote is illegal

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La compensacin de Ryanair: 50 euros por pasajero | Economa

La compensacin de Ryanair: 50 euros por pasajero

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Dani Rovira: “Pertenecer a un pas donde se celebra la tauromaquia da vergenza” | loc

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‘They’ve called me a traitor’: Catalans divided as independence vote nears | World news

Behind his counter in the Mercat de la Independència, a handsome modernista market that commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of Spain’s war of independence in 1808, Jaume Florensa is reflecting on an earlier, if equally fateful, year in national history.

Like many Catalans – about 41%, according to the polls – the poulterer is a passionate believer in sovereignty and a man with a memory that stretches back well beyond his 61 years.

He still rues the day, 303 years ago, when Barcelona fell to Philip V and the king went on to punish Catalonia for backing the wrong candidate in the war of the Spanish succession by suppressing its ancient freedoms and institutions.

“We’ve always felt we’ve had a raw deal – ever since 1714,” says Florensa, who was born and bred in Terrassa, a city half an hour’s drive from Barcelona.

“I suppose that makes it an old fight. As far as the top people in Madrid are concerned, Catalonia is a possession; we still feel like we’re the spoils of war.”

Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont takes part in a rally celebrating the Diada in Barcelona



Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont, takes part in a rally celebrating the
Diada in Barcelona. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

Florensa hopes all that will change in just under two weeks’ time. Catalonia’s pro-independence regional government, led by Carles Puigdemont, is adamant that Catalans will go to the polls on 1 October to vote in what it insists is a democratic and legally binding referendum on breaking away from Spain.

The secessionists argue that Catalonia has a moral, cultural, economic and political right to self-determination. They also feel their rich region of 7.5 million people has long put more into Spain than it has received in return. But the Spanish government says there will be no referendum because the vote would be illegal, unilateral and unconstitutional.

The showdown, which has seen the usual deep mutual suspicion between Barcelona and Madrid curdle into something far more toxic, is also splitting Catalans, almost 50% of whom favour staying as part of Spain.

One business owner in Terrassa quietly expresses the hope that Catalonia will remain part of Spain before swiftly refusing to elaborate or be named.

The city’s mayor, whose offices are a stone’s throw from the market, is also well aware of just how polarising the independence debate can be.

Jordi Ballart, a member of the Catalan Socialist party (PSC), which opposes the referendum, declined to be interviewed. His Facebook page, however, details the abuse he has suffered over his opposition to the vote.

“They’ve called me a quisling, a turncoat, a sellout, a coward, a wimp and a traitor … They’ve told me … I’m a bad Catalan, a moron, that I’m despicable, a piece of shit and a disgusting faggot – among many other things,” he wrote.

Núria Marín, the PSC mayor of Catalonia’s second most populous city, L’Hospitalet, is reported to have complained to Puigdemont about the pressure being brought to bear on her colleagues by some in the independence movement.

“I told him what a lot of people are thinking,” she told El País last week. “It hasn’t happened to me but a lot of my colleagues are having a rough time. Putting mayors in the crosshairs won’t fix anything; it’ll just add fuel to the fire.”

During the Diada in Barcelona on 11 September an aerial view shows hundreds of thousands of people gathering to call for ‘Independence now’.



During the
Diada in Barcelona on 11 September an aerial view shows hundreds of thousands of people gathering to call for ‘Independence now’. Photograph: Roser Vilallonga/AFP/Getty

The apparent hectoring is in sharp contrast with the scenes in Barcelona a week ago, when up to a million people congregated in the Catalan capital to celebrate the region’s national day – la Diada – and to make another peaceful and good-natured call for independence.

A Spanish government official describes the referendum as a circus and claims Madrid has a democratic duty to protect the “silent majority” of Catalans who oppose independence and to make sure the dispute doesn’t descend into violence.

“It’s very important for a government to create a situation where there is a peaceful relationship among people, and this is not the case in Catalonia now,” he says.

The official defends the confiscation of more than 1.5m referendum leaflets and posters, saying they were part of an illegal poll and adding: “We always react with a cool head, [and in a] measured way; a proportional way.”

Such arguments are met with short shrift in Barcelona. According to a source in the regional government, if anyone is putting pressure on Catalan officials, it is the Spanish government.

Last Wednesday, Spain’s top prosecutor began investigating the more than 700 Catalan mayors who have agreed to cooperate with the vote, and has ordered police to arrest any who fail to appear for questioning. Madrid has also moved to take control of the region’s finances to prevent the funds being used for the referendum.

Meanwhile, Spanish Guardia Civil officers have raided local newspaper offices and printing shops in Catalonia. On Tuesday, officers investigating an alleged water supply fraud said to have taken place while Puigdemont was mayor of Girona raided the offices of a water company in the city.

“The Spanish government is showing its true, authoritarian face,” says the source. “They refuse to enter into dialogue or use politics to solve a political issue. They’re shirking their political responsibilities and are instead using judges, prosecutors and the police – who shouldn’t be playing any part in this.”

They liken Madrid’s actions to those of authoritarian regimes in countries such as Turkey, saying Spain is enduring “an Erdoğanisation” of its politics.

The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, arrives for a floral tribute on the national day, la Diada



The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, agreed to support holding the referendum, but said the push for independence was excluding ‘half the people of Catalonia’. Photograph: Marta Perez/EPA

Last week, Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona – who has agreed to support the holding of the referendum – warned that the push for independence was excluding “half the people of Catalonia”.

Asked whether the vote could prove as divisive as the Brexit referendum has in the UK, the Catalan government source replies: “Democracy doesn’t divide; it’s the absence of democracy that divides people … We want people to vote – including the people who are going to vote no. If people have doubts, then 1 October is an opportunity for them to go to their polling station and put their vote in the ballot box.”

Alex Ramos, a doctor and the vice-president of Societat Civil Catalana, a group opposed to independence, is not persuaded by the regional government’s rhetoric. He also sees obvious parallels with the Brexit campaign.

“There’s a very clear analogy,” he says. “From our point of view, there’s a populist element in all this: you’ve got good people and bad people, you’ve got a victim mentality; and you’ve got a leader and his people.”

Ramos does not underestimate the desire that many Catalans have for independence, nor does he dispute the power of the Diada. But he does believe the Catalan government has taken advantage of old resentments and Spain’s economic crisis to stir up feelings of victimhood and further its own agenda.

How else, he asks, could support for independence have risen from around 15% in 2009 to 41% today?

“In that rise, there’s anger and economic crisis but there’s also propaganda,” he says.

Although Ramos is convinced the referendum will not take place, he knows both sides are “still going to go all out until the referee blows the whistle”. Whatever happens on, or after, 1 October, he adds, Catalonia’s body politic will need attention.

“We’re going to need to stitch up the wounds and build bridges and start talking more and talking better. We need to find a solution.”

But between Puigdemont’s promise to declare independence from Spain within 48 hours if the yes camp wins and the Spanish government’s refusal to rule out suspending Catalonia’s autonomy, solutions seem as remote as ever.

Mingled with the clamour and the manoeuvring, the accusations and the threats, is a feeling of weariness and deja vu; a sense that the issue routinely billed as Spain’s biggest crisis since its return to democracy four decades ago will once again fail to yield a payoff that is sufficiently neat or quick.

Antonio Barroso, an analyst at the political risk advisory firm Teneo Intelligence, says while modern Spanish history has been undeniably turbulent, the Catalan questions differs from the other shocks and scourges that the country has suffered over recent decades.

“We had Eta bombing the country every other day in the 80s; we had massive corruption cases in the 90s involving the head of the Guardia Civil; we had one of the biggest terrorist attacks on European soil in 2004, and we had a huge economic crisis.

“Yes, this is one of the biggest challenges to the territorial model established in the Spanish constitution after the transition to democracy, but it’s a political issue at the end of the day.”

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Norwegian ficha a 180 pilotos de Ryanair y le obliga a anular 2000 vuelos | Economa

Ryanair va a cancelar 2.000 vuelos desde hoy hasta finales de octubre.

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La crisis del 98 y la del 155 | Opinion Home

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