Catalonia Headlines for June 2018
Torra's Government Takes Its First Timid Steps
As Catalonia finally has a new president in Quim Torra, the main news issue in June 2018 in Catalonia is the new government taking its first timid steps. It seems probable that President Torra will be forced to make compromises in order to guarantee the lifting of Article 155.
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 June 1st: Rajoy Falls Rajoy falls as Sánchez obtains the support of PNV along with Podemos, ERC, PDECat and Bildu but the PP leader refuses to resign in order to allow his party to continue governing and Cs votes against the motion.
- Saturday June 2nd: Sánchez takes control Sánchez takes control. The PSOE leader assumes the presidency before the King today and prepares his executive and the main challenge will be to combat the message that Spain is the hands of the independence parties.
- Sunday June 3rd: Torra urges Sánchez to talk and "assume risks" Torra urges Sánchez to talk and "assume risks" as the inauguration of the Catalan government means the removal of 155 which has been in effect for 218 days and the president promises to apply the "Republican mandate" that came out of 1-O.
- Monday June 4th: The PP assumes that Rajoy won't be a candidate again The PP assumes that Rajoy won't be a candidate again and Sáenz de Santamaria and Feijóo are substitutes best situated as the party wants the ex-president to lead the transition period.
- Tuesday June 5th: Borrell to run Foreign Office & Batet Autonomic Policy Borrell will Foreign Office and Batet Autonomic Policy and as well as the two PSC leaders, Sánchez tempts Vergara for Economy as Rangel returns to the job of Government Delegate in Catalonia.
- Wednesday June 6th: Rajoy goes leaving PP succession fight open Rajoy goes and leaves the fight for PP succession open. As there are no pointers, the candidates must look for support before the congress while Aznar condemns the party and proposes a "reconstruction of the centre-right".
- Thursday June 7th: Sánchez defines his Govt as feminist & pro-European President Sánchez defines his Government as feminist and pro-European and emphasises the qualification of a Cabinet with 11 women and 6 months as Judge Marlaska leads Interior; the Public Prosecutor Delgado Justice and the astronaut Duque Science.
- Friday June 8th: Govt gives Catalonia priority in its agenda The Government gives Catalonia priority in its agenda and wants to recover the bilateral State-Generalitat commissions so Sánchez will receive Torra as soon as possible and will lead the dialogue in person.
- Saturday June 9th: Govt discounts renewing financial control over Catalonia The Government discounts renewing the financial control over Catalonia so falls with the 155 and only the filter to join the FLA will continue, although the leaders of PP and PSOE agreed to maintain the intervention in May.
- Sunday June 10th: Batet sees Constitution reform as "urgent and viable" Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, Meritxell Batet, sees the reform of the Constitution as "urgent and viable" and argues for an agreement to overcome the "institutional crisis" as Torra celebrates that there are "concrete proposals" but remembers that the Catalan Government starts from 1-O.
- Monday June 11th: G-7 future is up in air after last clash The future of G-7 is up in the air after the last clash after the US accuses Trudeau of "stabbing Trump in the back" and the European members direct tough criticism towards Trump.
- Tuesday June 12th: Sánchez offers asylum to 629 refugees Italy rejected Sánchez offers asylum to 629 refugees rejected by Italy and gives "humanitarian reasons" in his first gesture to the EU as the Valencia Community and Compromís Mayor open the port to "Aquarius".
- Wednesday June 13th: Supreme Court leaves Urdangarin a step from jail The Supreme Court leaves Urdangarin a step from jail as the court reduces the sentence by 5 months which is left at 5 years and 10 months and the sentence retains all the crimes apart from false documents.
- Wednesday June 14th: Sánchez lets Minister Huerta fall over the tax scandal Sánchez lets Minister Huerta fall over the tax scandal as the Minister of Culture and Sport resigns 6 days after taking possession. He was sentenced for tax fraud when he worked for TeleCinco and will be substituted by José Guirao, ex-director of the Reina Sofia.
- Thursday June 15th: Interior & judge clash over pro-independence prisoners Interior and judge clash over pro-independence prisoners as Minister Marlaska opens the door to bringing the prisoners closer if the magistrate says so and Llarena responds that it's a question of government competency.
- Saturday June 16th: Health will be universal again in six weeks Health will be universal again in six weeks as the Executive will begin the process of help for undocumented immigrants too with a decree that will repeal the one from 2012 that demands social security affiliation.
- Sunday June 17th: Interview with Dolores Delgado, Minister of Justice "We have to relax our relationship and avoid more pain. The climate of approximation can't just come from one side but also from the other; we must do it. We aren't going give instructions to the Prosecutor out of respect for fiscal autonomy and judicial independence."
- Monday June 18th: Spain receives survivors with doubts over their destiny Spain receives the survivors with doubts over their destiny as the Government will decide the future of the migrants of the 'Aquarius' case by case and the Valencian Generalitat and the NGOs ask that they not to be deported
- Tuesday June 19th: Withdrawal of Feijóo means Cospedal-Santamaria duel The withdrawal of Feijóo means a Cospedal-Santamaria duel as the Galician president surprises everyone by giving up the battle to lead the PP and Casado, about to be investigated, and Margalló both announce candidacies.
- Wednesday June 20th: PP divided between Cospedal and Santamaria The PP is divided between Cospedal and Santamaria. "I've always shown my face, they've broken me but I've always got up again" says the General Secretary of the PP. "I know what it's like to be in government and also in opposition" affirms the ex-vice president.
- Thursday June 21st: Torra unsuccessfully attempts to have meeting with King Torra attempts to have a meeting with King without success. The head of the Catalan government requests an interview in Tarragona tomorrow but La Zarzuela passes it on to Moncloa, who calls him for July 9th.
- Friday June 22nd: Manada Court increases anger by setting them free The Manada Court increases the anger by setting them free as the Navarre judges who condemned the five young men rule their freedom. The accused will be out after paying 6000 euros pending a firm sentence.
- Saturday June 23rd: King and President Torra open Tarragona Games The King and President Torra open the Tarragona Games as the head of the Catalan government attends the event after considering standing the monarch up and the Generalitat considers a break in relations with the Crown.
- Sunday June 24th: ERC would win the Catalans and PSC the Generals Electoral turn: ERC would win the Catalans and PSC the Generals as sovereignism keeps the absolute majority as the figure of Puigdemont loses strength more than 63% see the end of 155 as positive and half think it has hurt Catalonia.
- Monday June 25th: Finance is priority in agreement over Catalonia Finance is priority in an agreement over Catalonia as 68% want more resources as a bilateral way of resolving the Catalan crisis and 77% oppose the incarceration of pro-independence leaders.
- Tuesday June 26th: Employers and unions agree to raise wages by 3% Employers and unions agree to raise wages by up to 3% as the pre-agreement hopes to place the minimum salary at 1000 euros in 2020 and the agreement requests changes from the Government to control subcontracts.
- Wednesday June 27th: EU criticises high cost of AVE and low passenger use The EU criticises the high investment of the AVE and low passenger use as the European Accounts Court places the justification of various sections in doubt because the line between Madrid and Barcelona is the only profitable one in the Spanish network.
- Thursday June 28th: Judge finalises suspension of leaders of the process The judge finalises the suspension of the leaders of the process as the Supreme Court confirms the prosecution for a rebellion "without weapons" on 1-O and that Puigdemont and the ex-consellers in prison cannot be Members of Parliament.
- Friday June 29th: Sánchez accelerates transfer of prisoners to Catalonia Sánchez accelerates the transfer of prisoners to Catalonia and Llarena gives Interior the OK and moves the investigation into its last lap and the Catalan Government calls for the liberation of the pro-independence leaders.
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