Catalonia Headlines for February 2018
The Battle to Invest Puigdemont as President
Following the suspended investiture plenary on January 30th, the main news issue in February 2018 in Catalonia is centred on how to invest Carles Puigdemont as President of the Generalitat without him getting arrested or the plenary declared unconstitutional.
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.
- Thursday February 1st: Puigdemont confesses in private "It's over!" In a private mobile message to Toni Comín, Puigdemont confesses "It's over!" and complicate the investiture even more. The candidate feels he has been "sacrificed" by his own and accepts that Moncloa will win.
- Friday February 2nd: ERC increases pressure on Puigdemont to stand aside ERC increases pressure on Puigdemont to stand aside while Junqueras insists on a "legitimate symbolic" presidency and "executive" one and JxCat answers telling the Republicans not to delay the investiture.
- Sunday February 4th: The 155 reaches one hundred days without expiry date The 155 reaches one hundred days without expiry date because its removal is conditional on Puigdemont. The day to day application of the article causes delays in decisions and expenses.
- Monday February 5th: ERC tries to redirect the investiture in Brussels ERC tries to redirect the investiture in Brussels and says the dialogue went well and insists on not breaking the law as Puigdemont brings his parliamentary group together in Brussels.
- Tuesday February 6th: The Palau case puts Millet and Montull in prison 8 years later The Palau case puts Millet and Montull in prison 8 years later because the court thinks there's risk of escape and that they might have money abroad and the judge claims they'll receive necessary care in prison.
- Wednesday February 7th: Sànchez will stay in prison as JxCat supports the unilateral option Sànchez will stay in prison because JxCat supports the unilateral option. The Supreme Court refuses liberty to the ex-leader of the ANC because of the risk of criminal recidivism and the judge recalls that he is an MP and that Puigdemont is pushing unlawfulness.
- Thursday February 8th: Puigdemont's plans reopen divisions with ERC Puigdemont's plans reopen the divisions with ERC, who mistrust the change in the Presidency law because the proposal situates the political command in Brussels.
- Friday February 9th: The crash takes over on the global stock market The crash takes over on the global stock market as the Ibex falls more than 2% again on a day of European losses and after another day in red, Wall Street has already lost 3.5% this year.
- Saturday February 10th: JxCat moves forward alone on the investiture at a distance JxCat moves forward alone on the investiture at a distance while ERC remains reticent to change the law to include a Government in Brussels and the negotiations slow down until the leaders have declared before the Supreme Court.
- Sunday February 11th: The PP-Cs rivalry toughens Spanish political debate The PP-Cs rivalry toughens Spanish political debate and after the hegemony of the centre right, both parties increase their gamble on order and security so punitive proposals are gaining ground not just because of the Catalan crisis.
- Monday February 12th: TS will activate the Euro warrant in April The Supreme Court will activate the European warrant in April and Llarena will send Brussels an order detailing the accusation for rebellion. The order is seen as more pertinent after the brake the Constitutional Court put on the investiture.
- Tuesday February 13th: Fomento announces a new passenger terminal at El Prat Fomento announces a new passenger terminal at El Prat with a shuttle that will link the intercontinental routes building with T1 and Girona Airport will be the fourth runway with an AVE connection from Sants.
- Wednesday February 14th: The clash between JxCat and ERC for the investiture worsens The clash between JxCat and ERC for the investiture worsens as Torrent irritates his partners for asking Strasbourg to protect Puigdemont and those loyal to the President criticise Esquerra for the delays.
- Thursday February 15th: Part of the autonomic debt could become perpetual Part of the autonomic debt could become perpetual as Montoro is studying a formula a refund or expiration date. The proposed idea isn't a release but in practice the state won't collect the debt.
- Friday February 16th: The Spanish Government considers reducing Catalan immersion The Spanish Government considers reducing Catalan immersion and Rajoy could use Article 155 in order to include in registration as all parties apart from PP and Cs criticise the possible measure.
- Saturday February 17th: The Spanish Government ensures more Castilian Spanish in schools The Spanish Government ensures more Castilian Spanish in schools as the Executive's intention is to modify the percentage of each language and Méndez de Vido insists that the measure will be applied but doesn't know how.
- Sunday February 18th: The Spanish Government will increase hours of class in Castilian Spanish Spanish Government will increase hours of class in Castilian but Rajoy's Executive counts out parents ticking a box for the language they want their children educated in. The independence movement expects a gesture from Puigdemont, under pressure from 155 and Supreme Court.
- Monday February 19th: The leadership of PDECat and ERC appear before the Supreme Court The leadership of PDECat and ERC appear before the Supreme Court. The High Court isn't considering sending Marta Pacal and Marta Rovira to prison and the judge could order the arrest of Anna Gabriel if she avoids the citation.
- Tuesday February 20th: Rovira alleges Puigdemont refused to stop 1-O Rovira alleges that Puigdemont refused to stop the vote on October 1st as the judge lets the ERC Number Two (under bail) and Pascal of PDECat go free and Trapero will declare on Friday accused of a new crime of sedition.
- Wedesday February 21st: TC limits Govt on Catalan immersion The Constitutional Vourt puts a limit on Spanish Government on Catalan immersion as the court ends the Wert plan invade competencies of the Generalitat. The sentence comes in the middle of a full PP offensive in favour of Castilian.
- Thursday February 22nd: Supreme Court repeals Mas's great privatisation The Supreme Court repeals the Mas Government's great privatisation as the High Court ratifies the TSJC verdict against the concession of Aigües Ter Llobregat and the Generalitat has to have a new public call for tender.
- Friday February 23rd: Puigdemont & ERC stop negotiations amid reproaches Puigdemont and ERC stop negotiating amid reproaches as the dispute over the areas of the presidency and vicepresidency interrupts the dialogue. One of the great obstacles is the control of public television and radio.
- Saturday February 24th: First sentence against Rato for "black" credit cards First sentence against Rato for the "black" credit cards as the Audiencia imposes four years and six months of prison on the ex-vice president. The judges find him guilty of misappropriation together with Blesa with lower sentences for the 63 ex-Bankia and Caja Madrid advisers.
- Sunday February 25th: Colau & Torrent stand King up at start of MWC Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, Roger Torrent, Speaker of Parliament, stand the King up at the start of Mobile World Congress in protest for October 1st and receive an avalanche of criticisms from the non-sovereignty parties, who see the future of the MWC in danger.
- Monday February 26th: King calls for institutional commitment to MWC The MWC starts with the challenge of celebrating the best edition in history as King Felipe VI calls for institutional commitment to the Mobile and the Mossos protect the centre of Barcelona against the protests against the King.
- Tuesday February 27th: MWC enthusiasm calms political tension The push of the Mobile imposes itself over the political tension as organisers and attendees at the Congress play down the institutional conflict and reports say that the King replied to Colau that he was defending the Constitution and the Statute.
- Wednesday February 28th: Comuns join Independentists against 155 The Comuns join the Independentists against 155 and there is reconciliation between Colau's party and ERC as the CUP wants to rescue the UDI but the PP warns that the intervention will continue with candidates like Sànchez.
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