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.

Attempted occupation at airport was called by new group using an app to bring young people on to streets

Until this week, the images habitually projected by the Catalan independence movement were of its red, yellow and blue estelada flags and of the huge crowds that have gathered on the region’s national day over the past eight years to make earnest, enthusiastic – and fruitless – calls for a separate republic.

By Monday night, however, the pictures coming out of Barcelona and elsewhere had begun to tell a different story. Infuriated by the Spanish supreme court’s decision to jail nine pro-independence leaders over their roles in the failed push for secession two years ago, thousands of young Catalans marched on Barcelona-El Prat airport in an attempt to occupy it.

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Spain seeks to extradite Carles Puigdemont as Catalonia braces for general strike

Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president sought by Spanish courts over his role in the region’s failed independence bid, has been released on bail after testifying before judicial authorities in Belgium in response to the reactivation of an international arrest warrant against him this week.

News of his court appearance came as Catalonia prepared for a general strike and a huge demonstration in Barcelona after a fourth night of violent protests triggered by the jailing of nine pro-independence leaders by the Spanish supreme court on Monday.

Related: New generation, new tactics: the changing face of Catalan protests

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Quim Torra says people trying to damage reputation of independence movement as fourth night of violence rocks city

Barcelona suffered its fourth and worst night of violence on Thursday as pro-independence supporters clashed with police and right-wing groups in running battles well into the small hours of Friday morning.

The disturbances followed a now familiar pattern as a large demonstration called earlier in the evening dispersed and groups of protesters clashed with police in the city centre who say that a clothing shop was set on fire and a bank was vandalised.

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Protesters set cars alight and attack police after sentencing of nine pro-independence leaders

Street violence escalated in Barcelona late on Wednesday, as protesters set cars on fire and threw acid at police officers in a third night of unrest following the imprisonment this week of nine pro-independence leaders for their roles in the failed 2017 push for regional independence.

Officers from the Catalan force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, were reported to have fired teargas and run over two protesters during clashes that quickly spread after a earlier demonstration turned into a series of running battles with police.

Related: Spanish PM: we will not be provoked by Catalonia violence

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Catalonia braced for third night of unrest after imprisonment of nine pro-independence leaders

Spain’s prime minister has warned that his government will not be provoked into overreacting as Catalonia braces for a third night of unrest following the imprisonment this week of nine pro-independence leaders for their roles in the failed push for regional independence two years ago.

Speaking on Wednesday evening after holding talks with other political party leaders, Pedro Sánchez said the government would defend Spain’s constitution and peaceful coexistence but would not be tempted into inflaming tensions.

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Update on markets lists eight leading countries, including US, China and UK, as vulnerable

Low interest rates are encouraging companies to take on a level of debt that risks becoming a $19tn (£15tn) timebomb in the event of another global recession, the International Monetary Fund has said.

In its half-yearly update on the state of the world’s financial markets, the IMF said that almost 40% of the corporate debt in eight leading countries – the US, China, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain – would be impossible to service if there was a downturn half as serious as that of a decade ago.

Related: IMF haunted by fears that history might be about to repeat itself | Larry Elliott

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Police and protesters clashed in Barcelona and other Catalonia towns on Tuesday over the jail sentences handed to nine Catalan separatist leaders. A peaceful candlelit protest outside the offices of the Spanish government in Barcelona escalated and the central government warned that violent demonstrations would be met with a 'firm, proportional and united' response

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Police and protesters clash in city centre, as well as other Catalonia towns

Clashes between protesters and police erupted in Barcelona late on Tuesday after peaceful demonstrations over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders descended into running battles.

Protesters lit fires and erected makeshift barricades in the centre of the city before the crowd was dispersed by baton charges by Spanish and Catalan police, as far as Passeig de Gràcia, the elegant boulevard that is home to many of the city’s most exclusive shops and hotels.

Despite the long sentences handed down by the supreme court on 14 October, some of the nine leaders convicted of sedition and misuse of public funds could soon be eligible to apply for “semi-liberty”, allowing them out of prison on a regular basis.

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For an EU member state to have political prisoners beggars belief, says Alex Orr; the nature of the EU is largely responsible for the impending breakup of Spain and the UK, writes Randhir Singh Bains; and if the UK is to hold together, it will be need to become a federation of equal partners, says John Stone

The decision of Spain’s supreme court to sentence Catalan politicians and activists to lengthy jail terms following their bid to win independence in 2017 is truly appalling (Report, 15 October).

Normal western countries don’t lock up democratic opponents, and for an EU member state in the 21st century to have political prisoners beggars belief. This situation raises serious concerns about the very nature of democracy in Europe.

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Spain’s foreign minister says regional government excludes views of people who do not back independence

The Spanish foreign minister has accused the pro-independence Catalan government of exhibiting a “totalitarian attitude” by excluding and ignoring the 50% of Catalans who oppose breaking away from Spain.

Josep Borrell, who is himself Catalan, made the remarks a day after nine senior Catalan leaders were jailed for sedition over their roles in the failed attempt for regional independence.

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It could have been very different. But the 2017 declaration of independence threw away the campaign’s moral advantage

Some things are impossible. Catalan independence is currently one of them. The stiff jail sentences handed down to the leaders of the separatist campaign that peaked in 2017 with a banned referendum, police violence and a fudged declaration of independence make that clearer than ever.

There are huge practical obstacles to independence, starting with the many hurdles written into Spain’s constitution. Overcoming these requires massive support in Catalonia itself; but the separatist leaders who orchestrated a head-on collision with the law never had anything like that. The jail sentences are for sedition, but their real problem is hubris.

Related: Spain’s imprisonment of Catalan leaders is a desperate move that will backfire

Despite the long sentences handed down by the supreme court on 14 October, some of the nine leaders convicted of sedition and misuse of public funds could soon be eligible to apply for “semi-liberty”, allowing them out of prison on a regular basis.

Related: What is the story of Catalan independence – and what happens next?

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Chaos at Barcelona airport as protesters react to sentencing over 2017 bid for independence

The Catalan independence crisis erupted again on Monday as police and protesters clashed at Barcelona airport hours after the Spanish supreme court jailed nine Catalan separatist leaders over their roles in the failed bid for secession two years ago.

Protesters took to the streets, with many gathering at Barcelona’s El Prat airport after the court acquitted the nine defendants of the charge of violent rebellion but convicted them variously of sedition, misuse of public funds and disobedience.

Related: What is the story of Catalan independence – and what happens next?

Related: The key figures in the push for Catalan independence

Despite the long sentences handed down by the supreme court on 14 October, some of the nine leaders convicted of sedition and misuse of public funds could soon be eligible to apply for “semi-liberty”, allowing them out of prison on a regular basis.

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Spain is shamed by its jailing of independence leaders. But the SNP is wise not to follow the illegal Catalan approach

Nicola Sturgeon will put independence front and centre in her leader’s speech to the SNP conference in Aberdeen on Tuesday. That’s no surprise. Independence is what the SNP is in business for. What is more, after 12 years of SNP rule and five years on from the 2014 referendum, Scots voters show little sign of tiring of the party. Conservative advances have ebbed since Ruth Davidson quit and Boris Johnson became prime minister. Scottish Labour remains in historic eclipse. The SNP is on course to recapture Westminster seats from both parties, while a weekend poll put support for independence at 50%, the highest figure in recent times.

An imminent prospect of Brexit means a second independence referendum is once again a wholly live issue. Ms Sturgeon is expected to make a formal request for a new vote to the UK government in the coming weeks. If there is an early general election, the indyref2 demand will be a central part of the campaign, with rival parties under pressure to define their positions. Labour, in particular, will be in the SNP’s sights. Ms Sturgeon has said that, if there is another hung Westminster parliament, Jeremy Corbyn should not pick up the phone to propose a parliamentary deal unless he is willing to agree to a second vote. If the SNP gets the support that the polls currently suggest, her mandate to make that demand will be incontrovertible.

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The supreme court jailed nine of our colleagues for exercising their right to peaceful political expression. We will never back down

• Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó is the former president of Catalonia

The Spanish supreme court’s decision to imprison nine democrats and civil society leaders for organising a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia marks a new phase in the struggle for independence. Catalans have been calling on the government of Pedro Sánchez for more than a year to intervene, and attempt to bring about a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Monday’s ruling is an escalation that will ignite anger right across the region.

Answering the calls of extreme rightwing elements in Spain, the court imposed crushing prison terms on nine members of the government that I had the privilege to lead. I know these people well. They are dedicated democrats, committed to the cause of peaceful democratic change to Spain’s fragile post-Franco constitution. They include the speaker of the Catalan parliament and the presidents of the two most important non-partisan civil society organisations, Omnium and the ANC. They are all pacifists and liberals.

Related: What is the story of Catalan independence – and what happens next?

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Protesters took to the streets of Barcelona and other parts of Spain after the supreme court jailed nine Catalan separatist leaders for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid in 2017. Three main streets in Barcelona were blocked, as was train and metro access to Barcelona airport

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Demonstrators take to streets in Barcelona and elsewhere in Spain after verdicts

Catalans were quick to react to the news that nine independence leaders had been found guilty of sedition and handed stiff sentences of between nine and 13 years, and within minutes of the verdict’s announcement the streets of Barcelona and other major towns began to fill with protesters.

Related: Catalan separatist leaders given lengthy prison sentences

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On day that Spain’s supreme court announced verdicts in trial of 12 separatist leaders, we look at how the movement has evolved

Who’s who: key figures in the push for Catalan independence

On Monday, Spain’s supreme court announced its verdict in the landmark trial of 12 Catalan leaders accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over their roles in the failed push for regional independence two years ago.

Nine of them were cleared of violent rebellion but convicted of the lesser charges of sedition and misuse of public funds.

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As supreme court hands down verdicts in trial of 12 separatist leaders, we look at some of the main players

Spain’s supreme court has announced its verdict in the trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders over their alleged roles in the region’s failed attempt for independence two years ago. Here are some of the key figures in the push for independence:

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Contrary to popular belief, the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci has little to do with the name of the modern-day continent, writes Colin Moffat. Plus Patrick Billingham says Donald Trump has brought the US into disrepute

I fear Thomas Eaton (Weekend Quiz, 12 October) is giving further credence to “fake news” from 1507, when a German cartographer was seeking the derivation of “America” and hit upon the name of Amerigo Vespucci, an obscure Florentine navigator. Derived from this single source, this made-up derivation has been copied ever after.

The fact is that Christopher Columbus visited Iceland in 1477-78, and learned of a western landmass named “Markland”. Seeking funds from King Ferdinand of Spain, he told the king that the western continent really did exist, it even had a name – and Columbus adapted “Markland” into the Spanish way of speaking, which requires an initial vowel “A-”, and dropped “-land” substituting “-ia”.

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Region’s former vice-president Oriol Junqueras among nine defendants facing 25-year term

What is the story of Catalan independence – and what happens next?
Who’s who: key figures in the push for Catalan independence

Spain’s supreme court is expected to announce its verdict on Monday in the trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders over their alleged roles in the region’s failed attempt for independence two years ago.

Nine of the defendants – who include the former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras, the former speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell, and two influential grassroots activists, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez – are accused of rebellion, which carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years. Other charges include sedition and the misuse of public funds.

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