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Spain pushes for taxation debate at EU summit

18.12.14 @ 09:29

It was supposed to be all about investments and Russia, but the issue of tax avoidance is likely to creep onto the EU summit agenda on Thursday (18 December). In the draft summit conclusions circulated among EU ...

OpinionWhere would you live in Europe?

08.12.14 @ 09:21

If you could live anywhere in Europe, where would it be? Latest OECD migration figures show Germany rose to become the top migration destination after the United States in 2013, as recently reported by EUobserver. ...

Spanish MPs build EU support for Palestine recognition

18.11.14 @ 22:04

The Spanish Congress has backed a non-binding motion to recognise Palestine, as France prepares for a similar move next week. The non-binding resolution passed by 319 votes against two, with one abstention on Tuesday ( ...

Catalonia: 1.6mn vote for independent state

10.11.14 @ 09:25

Over 1.6 million Catalans voted in favour of independence on Sunday (9 November) in an informal poll. More than 80 percent of the 2 million people that cast a vote in the consultation, answered Yes to both questions: “ ...

Defiant Catalonia holds independence poll

08.11.14 @ 09:14

There is a certain feeling of excitement in the air, the kind which makes the hairs on the skin stand up. Something big is about to happen. Red and yellow striped flags can now be found all over Catalonia, hanging on ...

OpinionMadrid, Barcelona and the war of Spanish secession

07.11.14 @ 14:50

On the day Germans will be celebrating reunification, Spaniards will be focused on whether their country is about to fall apart. On Sunday, 9 November, Catalonia, Spain’s most prosperous region, will vote in a non- ...

Spanish MPs to vote on Palestine recognition

04.11.14 @ 09:08

Spanish MPs will, on Tuesday (4 November), vote on a non-binding motion urging Madrid to recognise Palestinian statehood, following similar moves in Britain, Ireland, and Sweden. The motion was tabled by Antonio ...

Ailing eurozone back on markets' radar

16.10.14 @ 16:52

The eurozone appears to have come back onto the markets' radar amid low inflation, poor economic news from Germany, and Greece's bailout exit plans. Greece's long-term borrowing costs went above 8 percent on Thursday ( ...

Catalonia downgrades independence 'consultation' after court ban

14.10.14 @ 19:21

Catalan leader Artur Mas on Tuesday (14 October) promised to hold a "public consultation" on whether Catalonia should be independent from Spain, after the Constitutional Court thwarted his plans to hold a referendum. " ...

Catalonia to call off independence referendum

14.10.14 @ 09:28

Catalonian leader Artur Mas is expected to cancel plans for a November referendum on independence after the country's top court said it should not go ahead. Mas will hold a press conference on Tuesday (14 October) at ...

Catalonia passes historic anti-homophobia law

06.10.14 @ 09:31

Catalonia’s new anti-homophobe legislation could see offenders fined up to €14,000 for attacks carried out against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGTB). The Catalan chamber passed the bill on Thursday (2 ...

Spain to block referendum, after Catalonia signs decree

29.09.14 @ 08:51

Catalans have switched on a giant clock in Barcelona to count the days and hours to a referendum on secession on 9 November after local leader Artur Mas signed the project into law on Saturday (27 September). But Madrid ...

Catalonia to press ahead with referendum after Scottish No

19.09.14 @ 16:06

Catalan leader Artur Mas has said the Scottish referendum has reinforced his plan to hold a similar vote at home. Speaking in Barcelona on Friday (19 September), he noted that the devolved Catalan parliament is likely ...

OpinionScotland's referendum - nothing and everything changes

19.09.14 @ 15:04

In the end nothing changed and everything changed. Scottish people voted with a decisive majority against independence on Thursday (18 September) but the conversation in the UK has only just begun. David Cameron, ...

Catalans turn out en masse to ask for independence vote

12.09.14 @ 09:27

Around 1.8 million Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona on Thursday (12 September) calling for the right to vote on independence. The demonstration marks the beginning of a critical period in Barcelona-Madrid ...

EU demands crackdown on Gibraltar tobacco smuggling

12.08.14 @ 09:30

Spain and British-run Gibraltar have been told to crack down on cross-border tobacco smuggling by the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog. The recommendation by the European Union anti-fraud office (Olaf) follows a year-long ...

Valencia faces EU probe over dodgy statistics

12.07.14 @ 18:48

The European Commission has launched a probe into whether the Spanish region of Valencia is guilty of the first case of statistical fraud since the Greek crisis in 2009. The investigation, which will look at years worth ...

Post EU ElectionsFormer farm minister eyed as Spain's next EU commissioner

16.06.14 @ 09:01

Spain has not yet formally decided who will be the country's next EU commissioner but all eyes are on conservative MEP and former agriculture minister Miguel Arias Canete who became famous abroad for a sexist remark he ...

Post EU ElectionsSpain's traditional two-party system in disarray after EU vote

27.05.14 @ 12:29

Spain will send the most diverse delegation ever to the European Parliament with its 54 MEPs coming from 10 different political parties. The country's traditional two-party system took a large knock in Sunday's vote. ...

Post EU ElectionsBelgium, Spain, France field most senior MEPs in EU vote

19.05.14 @ 09:28

Is the European Parliament an important institution to which political heavyweights should be sent? Or is it a place for potential talent to learn the metier, away from their member state's capital? Opinions on the ...

Post EU ElectionsSpain's EP election campaign kicks off

12.05.14 @ 09:07

Spain's European Parliament election campaign officially kicked off on Friday (9 May) – with a new poll suggesting the vote on 25 May will be a head to head between the governing Partido Popular (PP) and the opposition ...

Post EU ElectionsNew Spanish party wants to turn indignation into political change

02.05.14 @ 09:06

A new political party that has emerged from Spain's protest movement, los Indignados, is running in the upcoming European elections. Named Podemos, which means "We can" in Spanish, its founders say they want to convert ...

Spanish parliament rejects Catalan independence bid

09.04.14 @ 09:27

Spain’s parliament on Tuesday (8 April) overwhelmingly rejected Catalonia’s bid to call for a referendum on independence. There were 299 votes against a proposal by Catalan leader Artur Mas to have an independence poll. ...

Post EU ElectionsBarcelona university invents tool for measuring hate speech

08.04.14 @ 09:10

A team of academics in Catalonia have come up with a monitoring tool for xenophobic speech, something they say could be used at EU level too. Ricard Zapata-Barrero, professor of political and social sciences at ...

Catalan referendum plan 'illegal', says Spain's PM

26.02.14 @ 09:29

Spain's Prime Minister maintained that a referendum on independence for Catalonia would be "illegal" on Tuesday (25 February) as he delivered his annual state of the nation speech. Mariano Rajoy vowed to block the vote, ...

Post EU ElectionsPopulist Spanish parties test water in EU elections

21.02.14 @ 09:28

Mainstream political parties in Spain are set to lose ground to smaller populist movements in the May EU elections, which are seen as a test ground for next year's local and general votes. Although economic growth has ...

Joining EU 'difficult if not impossible' for Scotland, Barroso warns

17.02.14 @ 09:29

The prospect of an independent Scotland being allowed to join the EU would be "difficult, if not impossible," European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said on Sunday (16 February). During an interview on the ...

EU wants investigation into Spanish border guard shootings

14.02.14 @ 18:08

The European Commission wants answers after Spanish border guards fired rubber bullets at migrants swimming to safety off the coast of the Ceuta, a Spanish-enclave in north Africa. At least 12 people are said to have ...

Bailout troika 'in breach' of EU human rights laws

29.01.14 @ 09:29

Austerity programmes agreed with the troika of international lenders (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) are in breach of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to ...

Catalonia votes for 'illegal' independence referendum

17.01.14 @ 09:29

Catalonia's regional parliament on Thursday (16 January) voted to ask Madrid permission to hold a referendum on secession from Spain, a move deemed unconstitutional by the national government. The vote passed with 87 to ...

Catalonia urges EU leaders to endorse 'legal' referendum

03.01.14 @ 09:29

Catalonia's President, Artur Mas, has written to EU leaders and world powers seeking their support for a vote on independence from Spain. The appeal comes amid strong resistance to his plan to hold a referendum in ...

EU ends funding for Spanish banks, praises austerity

02.01.14 @ 09:29

The EU says Spain's banks are back on a "sound footing," but one in four Spanish people are still unemployed. Klaus Regling, the director of the Luxembourg-based European Stability Mechanism (ESM), made the statement on ...

Commission opens tax probe on Spanish football clubs

18.12.13 @ 20:13

The European Commission has launched a series of investigations into whether Spain's football clubs have benefited from unfair tax breaks worth billions of euros. EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia Wednesday (18 ...

Real and Barca to face EU state aid probe

17.12.13 @ 09:45

Football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are among seven top Spanish clubs to be targeted by a state aid probe to be launched on Wednesday (18 December) by the European Commission. Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel ...

InvestigationTroika consultancies: A multi-million euro business beyond scrutiny

16.12.13 @ 09:23

Alvarez and Marsal, BlackRock, Oliver Wyman, Pimco: The names mean nothing to the average European. But the financial consultancies have played a central role in all the eurozone bailouts and have so far invoiced ...

Madrid vows to block Catalonia referendum

13.12.13 @ 09:27

The Spanish government on Thursday (12 December) vowed to block Catalonia from holding an independence referendum, with EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy renewing the warning that the region would no longer be part of ...

Merkel denies pressuring Spain on bailout

06.12.13 @ 18:28

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has "no memory" of allegedly pressuring Spain on taking a bailout in 2011, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Friday (6 December). Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Rodriguez Zapatero ...

Austerity stripping away Europe's human rights, watchdog says

03.12.13 @ 17:18

Austerity measures imposed by international creditors on member states are eroding the social and economic rights of people, says human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe. “The crisis is both a context and a ...

Eurozone unemployment down first time since 2011

29.11.13 @ 17:54

Unemployment in the eurozone fell for the first time since February 2011, according to figures released on Friday (29 November). The jobless rate fell to 12.1 percent in October 2013, according to EU statistical agency ...

Scottish leader hits back at Spain on independence

28.11.13 @ 19:26

Scottish leader Alex Salmond has played down Spain's claim that an independent Scotland would be kicked out of the EU. The Scottish Nationalist government unveiled its plans for independence in the 670-page blueprint " ...

Eurozone trade surplus doubles, boosts crisis countries

18.11.13 @ 18:29

The prospects of the eurozone's nascent economic recovery were boosted on Monday (18 November) after figures revealed that the bloc's trade surplus in 2013 was on course to double 2012. According to data published by EU ...

Spanish border checks on Gibraltar not illegal, EU says

18.11.13 @ 09:20

Spain's border checks on Gibraltar have not broken EU law, the European Commission said on Friday (15 November) in response to a simmering dispute between Madrid and the UK government. Spanish border authorities ...

Italy and Spain close to breaking euro rules

15.11.13 @ 16:03

Single currency states felt the long arm of the European Commission stretch into national affairs on Friday, as the Brussels executive published in-depth reviews of their draft 2014 budgets. Just two euro states - ...

Interview'National governments declining in importance'

17.10.13 @ 09:19

As more key powers are transferred to Brussels, it poses an existential question for central governments. A recent study on public finances by the European Commission found that member states, even traditionally ...

OpinionWould an independent Catalonia remain in the EU?

30.09.13 @ 10:01

On 11 September 2013, 2 million Catalan citizens reached out forming a human chain over 400 kilometres long. This impressive demonstration, known as “Catalan Way to Independence,” showed, once again, that a huge ...

EU commission: Catalonia must leave EU if it leaves Spain

17.09.13 @ 09:12

Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain hit another obstacle after the European Commission said any breakaway territory would not be part of the EU. "If one part of a territory of a member state decides to separate, ...

OpinionThe erosion of southern Europe

28.08.13 @ 09:22

The second quarter GDP figures for the Euro-area economies indicated growth, for the first time in 18 months. Some fund managers and market observers argue that positive new developments could unleash a long-term rally ...

Spanish levy on Gibraltar would break EU law

19.08.13 @ 18:48

Spain’s threat to impose a levy on motorists leaving or entering Gibraltar would contravene EU law. European Commission spokesperson Olivier Bailly on Monday (19 August) said “that such a tax, imposed on citizens or ...

Madrid and London in new Gibraltar row

05.08.13 @ 09:18

Spain has said it is considering imposing a €50 fee on those entering and leaving Gibraltar amid an escalating row with the UK over fishing rights. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told ABC Sunday (4 August) ...

Eurozone economic confidence rises

31.07.13 @ 09:25

Economic confidence in the 17-nation eurozone rose in July reaching the highest point since April last year. The European Commission's monthly measurement of sentiment among consumers and businesses rose to 92.5 from 91 ...