16 Stories

Spain Takes Unprecedented Step to Rein In Catalonia

Madrid plans to invoke a never-before-used constitutional clause to suspend autonomy

(Newser) - Spain is dusting off a never-before-used emergency clause in its constitution in a bid to end the push for independence in Catalonia. How things will turn out remains very much up in the air. Specifically, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he is beginning the process to invoke Article 155... More »

90% of Catalonia Voted to Dump Spain: Officials

He says region has won the right to statehood

(Newser) - Catalonia is ready to declare independence after hundreds of people were injured voting in a disputed referendum on Sunday, the Spanish region's leader says. "With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a... More »

Vegan Restaurant Bans Bottle-Feeding Cow's Milk

Customers react after sign on door asks parents to leave milk bottles at home

(Newser) - A vegan restaurant in Spain has caused quite a ruckus by posting this on its door: “We like mothers, of all species. That’s why we don’t like bottle feeds based on cow’s milk. Please don’t use them in the restaurant.” According to El Paí... More »

40K Separatists at Catalonia Pol's Trial: 'You Are Not Alone'

Ex-regional leader Artur Mas in hot seat in Spain for arranging 2014 independence vote

(Newser) - In 2014, the ex-leader of Catalonia helped set up a vote on independence from Spain—and on Monday, 40,000 protesters stood up for him outside a Barcelona court. The New York Times reports on the start of the trial for Artur Mas, who was charged with civil disobedience for... More »

Could Spain Split Up? Separatists Win Big Victory

'We ask that the world recognize the victory of Catalonia'

(Newser) - The world should get ready to welcome a new European country with Barcelona as its capital, according to separatist leaders in Catalonia. Pro-independence parties won an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional parliament on Sunday, which they say is a mandate to separate from Spain and form a Catalan nation,... More »

Catalonia Ignores Spain, Will Vote on Independence

Spanish region to hold straw poll despite court order

(Newser) - The back-and-forth over a Catalan independence vote continues: Yesterday Catalonia said it would move forward with a straw poll on Sunday despite opposition from Spain's Constitutional Court, the New York Times reports. The poll had already been downgraded to a "consultation" with voters, CNN reports; the court's... More »

Catalonia Scraps Independence Vote

Leaders say they'll consult citizens another way

(Newser) - Spain is definitely staying in one piece, for now: The government of Catalonia has decided to call off a vote on independence for the wealthy region that was scheduled for Nov. 9, reports AFP . The Spanish government declared the non-binding referendum unconstitutional last month, and Catalan leaders, who plan to... More »

Catalonia's Quest for Independence Hits Roadblock

Court suspends vote as Spanish PM rejects it

(Newser) - This weekend, the leader of Spain's Catalonia region officially approved a vote on independence Nov. 9—but the Spanish government has quickly come down against it. Today, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the referendum, at odds with the country's constitution, couldn't be held, the New York Times... More »

Spain Shoots Down Barcelona Area's Independence Bid

But region vows to hold it anyway

(Newser) - Spain isn't letting Catalonia pull a Scotland . The Spanish parliament has voted decisively against letting the region, which includes Barcelona, hold a referendum on independence. The vote was 299 to 47, with only the Catalan and Basque parties voting in favor; the major Spanish parties were united against it,... More »

Now Part of Spain Wants to Break Off—Illegally

Catalonia says it will hold referendum on issue, in face of court ruling

(Newser) - More secessionist rumblings : Catalonia is technically a largely autonomous "community" in northeastern Spain. It would like to be much less than that. The region's parliament last year decided that it would hold a referendum on secession, something it says it fully intends to do on Nov. 9—even... More »

Separatists Prevail in Catalonian Elections

But support for independence from Spain is splintered

(Newser) - In a vote widely seen as a test of support for independence from Spain, a majority of voters in Catalonia have picked separatist candidates in regional elections. The result makes a genuine referendum on independence within the next few years more likely, but with the separatist vote split among four... More »

Stinky Nativity Tradition: Pooping Catalan Doll

Cute 'caganer' adds a unique twist to Christmas

(Newser) - In Barcelona at Christmastime, you can find plenty of Nativity scenes, with shepherds, magi, baby Jesus, and the like. But you can also find one uniquely Catalan character hidden in the background—or squatting, with his pants down, the caganer, or "the defecator" (though our sources tell us the... More »

Catalonia Bans Bullfights (Hemingway Saw It Coming)

Region is first in mainland Spain to abolish the sport

(Newser) - Score one for the bulls. Catalonia became the first region in mainland Spain to ban bullfighting today, reports the BBC . Animal rights activists who see the sport as barbaric succeeded in getting the ban passed, much to the dismay of those who see it as an integral part of the... More »

Barcelona May Ban Bullfighting

Catalonia vote pits tradition vs animal rights

(Newser) - Catalonia will vote today on whether to become the first mainland Spanish region to say adios to bullfighting. The spectacle has long been in decline in the region, and the capital, Barcelona, now only holds a dozen or so bullfights a year, with foreign tourists making up much of the... More »

Emergency H20 Flows Into Parched Barcelona

Water tanker arrives as Spain suffers severe drought

(Newser) - Barcelona is having to ship in emergency supplies of drinking water as Spain suffers its worst drought since records began 60 years ago, the Guardian reports. The first shipment of 5 million gallons arrived yesterday and dozens more are scheduled. The city's reservoirs are down to a quarter of capacity... More »

In Spain, It's Not Good to Be the King

Juan Carlos defends monarchy, faces down calls to abdicate

(Newser) - Amid loud calls for his abdication, Spain's King Juan Carlos I has been forced into the unprecedented and lowly position of justifying his throne to commoners, reports the Telegraph. Catalonian separatists have been burning effigies of him and Queen Sofia, and some are calling for him to hand the crown... More »

16 Stories