News & Media - The Guardian News for Spain

Andalucia.com brings you a news feed direct from The Guardian with the latest news from Spain, Southern Spain.

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including protests in Catalonia and fierce wildfires in California

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Police clash with protesters in Lleida as 44 works of art at centre of dispute between Catalonia and region of Aragón are removed

Scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators after hundreds of people gathered outside a museum in the Catalan city of Lleida to protest against the removal of 44 works of art that have been at the centre of a long-running dispute between Catalonia and the neighbouring region of Aragón.

The pieces, which include paintings, alabaster reliefs and polychromatic wooden coffins, were sold to the Catalan government by the nuns of the Sijena convent, in Aragón, in the 1980s.

Related: 'We lit the fuse': the town where the Catalan push for independence began

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Arenys de Munt, where simmerings of discontent first came to the boil eight years ago, prepares to vote again next week

Arenys de Munt, a two-taxi town of a little under 9,000 people that lies an hour north-west of Barcelona, hides neither its colours nor its loyalties.

Its hues are the red and yellow of the traditional Catalan senyera flag, the red, yellow and blue of the separatist estelada banner and the many colours of the strings of laconic but insistent pennants that hang between the pollarded plane trees of the high street, each reading simply: “Yes”.

Why elections are being held

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The starkly divergent news agendas promoted in Madrid and Barcelona expose the crisis that state-funded journalism can face when the political stakes rise

Some fundamental media questions can never be definitively answered. One is: who should be allowed to own a newspaper or news organisation? Another – a core problem as those crucial Catalonian regional elections near – is who controls the public service apparatus that supposedly delivers independent but state-sanctified journalism?

Hollow laugh. You might have hoped that the high-profile role of Catalan-language, regionally subsidised TV and radio would be muted during a campaign that will help decide Catalonia’s future. No such luck. TV3 and the radio channels are as independence-enthused as ever – and in frequent debate with the electoral commission. Is Carles Puigdemont a president or an ex-president? Are those nationalist leaders still in jail political prisoners?

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The regional poll on 21 December that was meant to restore normality is achieving the opposite

They are the elections that many believe could shape Spain’s future by paving the way for Catalan independence. But divisions are emerging among the separatists – and the leader of the leftwing party ahead in the polls is floundering as she comes under scrutiny.

As campaigning for the 21 December elections reaches a climax, political leaders are ignoring their traditional focus on issues such as the economy and have turned this month’s contest into a race between two blocs – secessionists and constitutionalists.

(June 28, 2010) 

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Ousted president addresses huge crowd who turn anger on European commission for failure to act against Spanish government

Nearly 50,000 people marched through the European quarter of Brussels on Thursday night in support of Catalan independence and the region’s ousted president, Carles Puigdemont, who has avoided arrest in Spain by taking refuge in Belgium.

There were chants of “Puigdemont, president” from the crowd that was estimated by police to number 45,000. Many people were draped in Catalan flags; some carried placards criticising the European Union for not putting pressure on Madrid. One sign showed the face of the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, with the question: “Democracy? Some defend it when it suits them. Shame on them.”

Related: I’m in prison for defending Catalonia’s rights. Spain must free us immediately | Jordi Cuixart

Related: The Guardian view on the Catalonia election: the challenge of compromise | Editorial

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Jailed Catalan political leaders are calling on the EU to stop looking the other way and to intervene to ensure that our rights are restored

• Jordi Cuixart is president of the regional organisation Òmnium Cultural

I am a Catalan businessman, the son of labourers. My mother emigrated from Murcia, a Spanish province, and my father was born in Badalona, the third most populated city in Catalonia. We spoke both Catalan and Spanish at home, like the large majority of Catalans with Spanish roots. I am 41 years old, I live in Barcelona. I am married with a seven-month-old son and two other children (stepchildren) whom I love as if they were my own. I am the 10th president of Òmnium Cultural – an organisation set up to promote the Catalan language and spread the region’s culture. It’s a position I hold completely voluntarily. I have been in prison for 50 days now, without a trial, accused of sedition, along with Jordi Sànchez, former president of the Catalan National Assembly.

We are deprived of our freedom for having made use of our right to free expression and demonstration, for the simple act of publicly and democratically defending the right of Catalonia to decide its future as a people at the polls, like Quebec and Scotland did with the mutual agreement of the governments of Canada and the UK.

(June 28, 2010) 

Related: Catalan's deposed vice-president to contest election from prison

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Britain can count on my country’s loyal friendship – the UK is leaving the EU but not Europe

• Mariano Rajoy is prime minister of Spain

The relationship between the UK and Spain is as old as the history of our two countries. We are bound by a friendship based on values which we still share today: freedom, democracy, the separation of powers and the rule of law.

The rich historical and cultural bond that unites two of the oldest monarchies in the world is reflected in our close political relations. We also have close ties from an economic and trade perspective. The facts speak for themselves: the UK is our fourth largest customer and our seventh largest supplier. In 2016, Spanish exports to Britain amounted to €19.15bn, with imports of €11.18bn. We are visited by more citizens from the UK than from any other country. And more than half a million Spanish and British citizens have chosen to live in the UK and Spain respectively.

Citizens are our priority: we must give them certainty and reassurance, and safeguard their rights and interests

Related: MEPs say UK has conceded on Ireland border in Brexit talks

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Oriol Junqueras is denied bail, as is former minister Joaquim Forn, but Spanish court frees six former Catalan cabinet members

The deposed Catalan vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, looks poised to contest this month’s regional election from a prison cell after a judge at Spain’s supreme court denied him bail, saying it remained to be seen whether his pledge to abide by Spanish law was “truthful and real”.

Junqueras is among more than a dozen Catalan leaders facing possible charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds over their roles in October’s illegal independence referendum and the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

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On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we visit Casa Carlota, a Barcelona-based design studio that includes people with Down's syndrome, autism and intellectual disabilities. People with intellectual disabilities tend to have less obvious approaches to design and creativity

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Campaigning begins this week in an election that will shape Spain and affect the whole of Europe. First, the region’s imprisoned political leaders should be freed to campaign

Campaigning in Catalonia’s 21 December regional election begins officially on Tuesday. Opinion polls show pro- and anti-independence political parties running neck and neck. But the outcome will shape the future not just of Catalonia and Spain but of other European nations and EU institutions.

This election was triggered by the Madrid government after it enacted article 155 of the Spanish constitution in October – an unprecedented move that led to the formal suspension of the region’s autonomy. Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, hoped this would help him to gain time, while working to dampen secessionist feeling, including by floating ideas about an enhanced version of Catalan autonomy for the future. Now things are set to accelerate again. More, not less, political turmoil could lie ahead.

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Eight former cabinet members jailed on sedition charges ask judge to release them before forthcoming regional election

Eight former Catalan cabinet members in custody awaiting trial have appeared before the supreme court in Madrid after requesting their release before a regional election.

The separatist leaders requested the court appearance to pledge lawful behaviour and renounce unilateral independence efforts in the hope of being released.

Jordis, conselleres i consellers empresonats, us volem a casa. Heu de sortir de la presó perquè no hi hauríeu d’haver entrat mai. Feu el que calgui per sortir-ne’n. Tenim molta feina i us necessitem per plantar cara al tripartit del 155. Desitjo retrobar-nos ben aviat!

Related: Catalonia poll vow: if elected I'll use first 100 days to unravel independence row

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Case against ‘la Manada’ has caused outrage as supporters of alleged victim say it appeared as if she was on trial

A verdict is due in the trial of five men accused of gang-rape during the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona last year, in a case where it appeared to many of the alleged victim’s supporters in Spain that she was on trial.

The alleged rape occurred in the early hours of 7 July 2016 during the popular San Fermín festival. The woman, an 18-year-old from Madrid, met the five men – one of whom was in the Spanish army – as she was making her way to the car she was sleeping in while staying in the city.

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  • Inocente Orlando Montano, 76, accused of planning killings
  • Montano to face court in Madrid on Thursday after arriving from US

A former Salvadoran army colonel has been extradited to Spain to face charges relating to the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter in El Salvador.

Inocente Orlando Montano, 76, arrived in Madrid from the United States on Wednesday and was placed in prison, according to the national court in Madrid.

Related: Spanish trial of soldiers who killed priests raises hopes of ending impunity in El Salvador

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Foreign Office says UK nationals among 40 reportedly injured when floor gave way at the Butterfly club in the Canaries

Several Britons are among the injured after the floor of a nightclub collapsed in Tenerife, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has confirmed.

Forty people are reported to have been hurt in the incident at the packed Butterfly club in Adeje on the island in the Canaries at about 2.30am on Sunday. Revellers were sent tumbling into an empty basement after an area of floor about 4 metres by 4 metres gave way, according to reports.

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Iberian ham has become the latest sought-after luxury from the west in China, but demand is outstripping supply

Having discovered the joys of French wine, caviar and truffles, China’s new rich are turning to a new gourmet delicacy to satisfy their demand for luxury goods from the west: Spain’s jamón ibérico, or Iberian ham. But demand is now threatening to outstrip supply, leaving Spaniards facing steep price rises in their most prized Christmas delicacy.

The recent lifting of import restrictions has allowed top-of-the-range ham to find its “rightful place in the market, alongside caviar and truffles”, René Lemée, the head of exports for the famous Cinco Jotas brand, told El País newspaper.

Related: World's most expensive ham?

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Emergency services were called to venue in Adeje in south-west of Spanish island, and the injured taken to hospital

Twenty-two people have been injured after part of a nightclub floor in Tenerife collapsed, causing people to plunge into the basement.

Emergency services rushed to the club in Adeje in the south-west of the Spanish island at about 2.30am on Sunday, following reports that about 4 sq m (43 sq ft) of its floor had given way, the Canary Islands regional government said.

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After seven years and €280m, bank has decided not to renew contract as primary sponsor, according to Spanish media

The Spanish bank Santander will not renew its Formula One sponsorship of Ferrari at the end of this year, according to reports, after spending seven years and €280m (£250m) backing the sport’s most illustrious team.

The bank became Ferrari’s primary sponsor in 2010 when the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso joined the team and Santander was still run by Emilio Botín, a Formula One enthusiast.

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Twenty-two people were taken to hospital, two in a serious condition, after floor gave way, plunging them into the basement. Emergency services were called at about 2.30am on Sunday to the club in Adeje in south-west of Spanish island

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Energy companies in Italy and Spain have faced unexpected local opposition to their own plans to shut polluting plants

Europe’s race to quit coal has hit a speed bump as energy companies face local political resistance to the closure of power stations burning the polluting fuel.

ScottishPower owner Iberdrola said this month that it was closing its last two coal power stations in Spain as part of its plan to cut carbon emissions and switch to cleaner power generation. But days later the Spanish government reacted by blocking the shutdowns, starting the process for a royal decree that would give ministers the final say on any power station closure if it was deemed to affect energy security.

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