Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU Parliament lifts Catalonia's ex-president Puigdemont's immunity
EU Parliament lifts Catalonia's ex-president Puigdemont's immunity
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

The former regional president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, loses his immunity as an MEP. The European Parliament voted on Monday evening to withdraw the right of protection, as has now been announced. Two of Puigdemont's comrades-in-arms in the fight for Catalonia's independence from Spain are also affected. The Catalans now face extradition to the Spanish authorities.

Sports • Soccer
Joan Laporta elected as new president of FC Barcelona
Joan Laporta
Joan Laporta Credit: RODIXETA

Joan Laporta, who was president from 2003 to 2010, was elected FC Barcelona's President with an absolute majority of 54.28% of the votes. Laporta will serve a six-year term upon taking the reins again.

"We experienced the same thing in 2003. We were losing, had a huge debt and were having to pay too many expenses and income was lower than revenue. The situation today is very similar and my formula to get out of it is very simple. We need to control expenses, restructure the debt and work to generate new sources of income," Laporta told the BBC prior to the election.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Protests continue in Spain 3 days after rapper conviction
Protests against the arrest of rapper Pablo Hasél
Protests against the arrest of rapper Pablo Hasél Credit: Jordiventura96 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Demonstrations of support for Pablo Hasél and free speech continued in Spain for the third night in a row, particularly in Catalonia. Deployment of riot police caused confrontations where a woman lost an eye to a rubber bullet.

The fallout from the rapper's conviction also continues in government and the judiciary. Government coalition parties PSOE and Unidas Podemos reacted to the events differently, while a legal reform is being called for by the Spanish Justice Ministry itself.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Independentists get absolute majority in Catalonia
Catalan Flag
Catalan Flag Credit: Genlab Frank (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Despite the socialist party (PSC) got more votes at the February 14th election, the independentists obtained 74 seats over 135 in parliament.

"I want to send a message to Pedro Sánchez, it is time to sit down to resolve the conflict and vote in a referendum and release prisoners with amnesty," were the first words pronounced, defiantly, by the ERC candidate, Pere Aragonès.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spanish Supreme Court confirms the removal of Quim Torra as head of Catalonian government
Spanish Supreme Court confirms the removal of Quim Torra as head of Catalonian government
Credit: Generalitat de Catalunya / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court has ended this Monday the mandate of Quim Torra at the head of the Generalitat de Catalunya the Government of Catalonia.

He has been removed for a crime of disobedience imposed for failing to comply with the order of the Central Electoral Board to remove, during the election campaign, a banner supporting the imprisoned supporting the imprisoned pro-independence leaders.

Regional News • Europe
Brussels court throws out arrest warrant for Catalan Lluis Puig
Lluis Puig
Lluis Puig Credit: Twitter Reproduction

A court in Brussels has ordered that a European arrest warrant for Lluis Puig, a former minister in the autonomous government of Catalonia, should not be carried out.

The Spanish government had issued the warrant against Puig for his part in the Catalan independence referendum of October 2017.

Puig’s lawyers had argued that only a Catalan court could try him, and not the Supreme Court, as would happen if the warrants were executed, and the Brussels' court has upheld that point of view. The prosecutor’s office is now considering whether to appeal the judgement.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German Government advises against travel to Aragon, Navarra, and Catalonia
La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain Credit: Lucrezia Carnelos

Germany's Foreign Ministry issued a notice warning against tourist travel to the Spanish regions of Aragon, Navarra, and Catalonia after a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Ministry website states: “We currently advise against unnecessary tourist trips to the autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre due to high infection numbers and local lockdowns,”.

Bernat Sole, Catalonia's foreign affairs chief, said: "We do not get into evaluating the decisions by other countries but we obviously don't share it. The Catalan government is responsible … and we are working to protect the life and health of people that live here or are visiting us,".

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Catalonia to make face masks mandatory starting Thursday
Men wearing face masks in public
Men wearing face masks in public Credit: Testi

The Spanish region Catalonia will make it mandatory to wear face masks in all public spaces, even if people can maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres. The Catalan government’s spokesperson Meritxell Budó announced the final decision will be made during a Civil Protection Meeting on Wednesday but the order is set to take effect on Thursday.

Regional News • Europe
After new Covid-19 outbreak, Catalonia places 200,000 people under lockdown
La Seu Vella, in Lleida
La Seu Vella, in Lleida Credit: Hector Blanco de Frutos (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

Catalonia's regional president Quim Torra announced that residents in Segria region would not be able to leave the area. Although the population will not be confined to their homes, gatherings of more than ten people and visits to retirement homes are forbidden.

The region, which includes the city of Lleida, has a population of more than 200,000 people.