Catalonia Headlines for December 2017
The Lead Up to the Elections on December 21st
The main news issue in December 2017 in Catalonia is centred on the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia on December 21st. I have decided to use headlines from Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia to tell the story of what happened in the month.
I may add other newspapers as the project progresses but the page reflects many of my personal perceptions of what happened because, out of circumstance rather than choice, I read La Vanguardia every day as it is the newspaper available in the bar in Barcelona where I have breakfast.
- Friday December 1st: The independence movement is confident of the release of the prisoners The independence movement was confident in the prisoners' release as the defence lawyers prepared bail cheques. If the judge released them, they would be able to attend the solidarity concert the following day.
- Saturday December 2nd: The ex-consellers accept they will keep within the Constitution Ex-consellers and Jordis agreed to keep within the Constitution and the judge would decide whether to release them on Monday. Junqueras and Romeva didn't answer the prosecutor, who demands prison.
- Sunday December 3rd: Rajoy considers the process is over and defends 155 Rajoy visited Mataró and said the process was over defending 155 claiming that "things are better" since the intervention and "companies will return because the government will tell them to".
- Monday December 4th: Two judges define the future of Puigdemont and Junqueras Two judges were about to define Puigdemont and Junqueras' future as a Belgian court heard the sacked president's plea against his extradition and the ERC leader hoped the Supreme Court would allow him to campaign.
- Tuesday December 5th: The campaign starts without the pro-independence candidates The campaign would start without the pro-independence candidates as the Supreme Court kept Junqueras, Forn, Sànchez and Cuixart in prison because it believed that the risk of recividism was higher.
- Wednesday December 6th: Puigdemont can only be arrested if he returns Puigdemont would only be able to be arrested if he returned to Spain as the Supreme Court retired the European arrest warrant against him, stopping the Belgian judiciary from giving him asylum.
- Thursday December 7th: Rajoy delays a possible reform of the Constitution La Vanguardia led with the reform of the Constitution while the big news in Catalonia was the trip thousands of Catalans were making to Brussels in support of the Catalan government in exile.
- Friday December 8th: Trump's favour to Israel unleashes Palestinian ire La Vanguardia led with Trump and Israel on the same day as 45,000 Catalans demonstrated in Brussels in support of the President Puigdemont.
- Saturday December 9th: London agrees to a divorce with the EU which will come out expensive La Vanguardia led with Theresa May's Brexit deal agreeing to pay the EU 45 billion in order to be able to negotiate the commercial and security agreements.
- Sunday December 10th: The pro-sovereignty majority gets less likely and three lists compete for victory A new poll from La Vanguardia shows that the pro-independence parties look likely to lose the absolute majority and ERC, Ciudadanos and JxCat are all virtually tied on around 30 seats.
- Monday December 11th: 57% are confident that there will be negotiation after December 21st 57% of Catalans thought there would be negotiation after December 21st, seven out of ten Catalans believed the economy suffered after the UDI and almost half took it for granted the process would continue.
- Tuesday December 12th: The Supreme Court will investigate more members of ERC and the CUP The Supreme Court said it would investigate more members of ERC and the CUP, like Marta Rovira and Anna Gabriel, and the judge asked the Civil Guard for a report on the strategic committee for October 1st.
- Wednesday December 13th: The Puigdemont-ERC rivalry marks the halfway point of the campaign The Puigdemont-ERC rivalry marked the campaign halfway point. The ex-president said he believes an electoral victory would excuse him from the lawsuit but Esquerra wouldn't promise to reinstate the government.
- Thursday December 14th: The parties fear that 21-D throws up an ungovernable result The parties expressed fears 21-D throws up an ungovernable result and the leaders of JxCat, Esquerra and Ciudadanos called for a tactical vote while Iceta admitted the chances of a repeat election in public.
- Friday December 15th: The Independence movement waiting to see whether Puigdemont returns After the announcement of an ERC rally outside the prison the Independence movement encouraged Puigdemont to return because it thinks it would inspire the ex-president's election victory.
- Saturday December 16th: The Catalan GDP slows down to half in the last quarter The Catalan GDP slowed down to half in the last quarter as Guindos cut the forecast from 0.9% to 0.4% and the Bank of Spain also reduced the Spanish rhythm in 2018.
- Sunday December 17th: The campaign's final battle will be fought in the metropolitan area The campaign's final battle would be fought in the metropolitan area and the Barcelona vote might tip the vote towards one of the two blocs.
- Monday December 18th: The Constitutionalist bloc sprints to turn the result around Constitutionalist bloc sprint to turn the result around. Rajoy began a marathon in Catalonia, Arrimadas saw victory close and Iceta proudly exhibited Spanish flag in front of Sánchez and Zapatero.
- Tuesday December 19th: The battle between Puigdemont and Junqueras worsens Battle between Puigdemont and Junqueras worsened as the ERC leader hoped to be invested and was in prison "because he's consequent" and the ex-president insisted on his restitution to return from Brussels.
- Wednesday December 20th: Last push to break the stalemate between the blocs Last push to break the stalemate between the blocs as Catalonia closes a divided campaign with what will probably be a high participation. Disagreement between parties points to an ungovernable Parliament.
- Thursday December 21st: Catalonia mobilises for some decisive elections Catalonia mobilises for decisive elections and the record participation is one of the keys of a historic day. The main question is whether the independence parties will win an absolute majority again.
- Friday December 22nd: Cs win, but the pro-independence majority is renewed Cs win, but the pro-independence majority is renewed. Arrimadas wins in votes and seats, although she won't be able to form a government and Puigdemont overtakes ERC and the independence movement takes 47.5% of the votes.
- Saturday December 23rd: Concern among the PP barons due to the rise of Cs Concern among PP barons due to rise of Cs as Rajoy rejects criticism and claims the Catalan result can't be extrapolated. Rajoy and Puigdemont evade the point and focus on dialogue without conviction.
- Sunday December 24th: Blaugrana Christmas The main news is FC Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Real Madrid as Puigdemont announces he wants to return to Catalonia but admits he can't do the job of president in prison.
- Monday December 25th: The King calls on the new Catalan government to regain coexistence In his Christmas speech, the King calls on the new Catalan government to regain coexistence, urges for the recovery of plurality of Parliament, overcome the atmosphere of confrontation.
- Wednesday December 27th: The minimum wage will go up 20% if the GDP gains 2.5% The minimum wage will go up 20% if the GDP gains 2.5% as government and social agencies agree a gradual increase until 2020, which will be related to the number of affiliates.
- Thursday December 28th: The Catalan economy already grows less than the Spanish average Catalan economy already grows less than Spanish average as Bank of Spain detects lower increase in consumption and foreign tourism and warns the political crisis might affect employment and housing.
- Friday December 29th: Ciudadanos support Rajoy's Catalan strategy Ciudadanos support Rajoy's Catalan strategy and aspire to preside the Catalan Parliament as the most voted party as ERC takes for granted that Puigdemont won't return from Brussels.
- Saturday December 30th: Rajoy forces Puigdemont to decide if he'll return soon Rajoy forces Puigdemont to decide if he'll return soon by calling Parliament on January 17th and the investiture debate on the 31st as JxCat confirms it will invest the ex-president.
- Sunday December 31st: JuntsxCat rule out voting for Junqueras as president JuntsxCat rule out voting for Junqueras as president as Elsa Artadi confirms that any option other than Puigdemont would be "entering into the mental framework of 155".
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