Catalan leader accuses Spain of violating rights in referendum row

The regional president of Catalonia has accused the Spanish government of acting “beyond the limits of a decent democracy” and violating fundamental rights as it strives to prevent an independence referendum from being held in 10 days’ time.

Writing in the Guardian a day after Spanish Guardia Civil officials raided local authorities buildings and arrested 14 senior officers, Carles Puigdemont insisted the vote could move beforehand as “ballot boxes and a peaceful attitude” are the handiest weapons left to folks that need independence.

“Catalan home rule has correctly been suspended because of this anti-democratic attitude from the Spanish authorities,” he wrote.

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“It’s a state of affairs that harks back to the darkish past of this u. S ., when democracy becomes not a part of the Spanish dictionary. What is happening right here in Catalonia could now not happen anywhere else inside the European Union.”

Puigdemont stated requests for negotiations with the Madrid government had been not noted dozens of instances, and the Spanish govt was refusing to entertain any dialogue on the difficulty.

“Instead of conducting discourse, the Spanish authorities have opted for police and judges, taking us beyond the boundaries of a first-rate democracy,” he wrote. “With the arrests of excessive-rating officials and threats to detain democratically elected politicians, I trust the Spanish government has violated the European charter of fundamental rights.”

However, in spite of his statement that the Spanish authorities turned into intentionally targeting officials, Wednesday’s arrests had been ordered with the aid of a judge in Barcelona and not by using everybody in Madrid.

Puigdemont’s accusations came as Catalonia’s regional vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, admitted the arrests – and the seizure of virtually 10m poll papers – had changed “the nation of play”.

“The occasions nowadays are specific due to the fact a tremendous part of our team, half of the economics group, has been arrested,” he said.

“That [the referendum] cannot be held on the occasions that we desired is plain.”

The arrests brought about approximately forty,000 people taking to the streets of Barcelona on Wednesday night. On Thursday, thousands of people collected out of doors the Catalan high court to call for the release of the arrested officials. Some waved Catalan independence flags and chanted: “We will vote!”

Jordi Sànchez, president of the leading independent enterprise the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), instructed the crowds: “We might be here, peacefully however present, till all of the arrested strolls out unfastened.”

Malena Palau, a 21-12 months-antique scholar, stated she and her fellow protesters had been no longer afraid and desired to exercise their democratic freedoms within the referendum.

“We need to vote due to the fact we’ve got proper to decide, no matter what we vote,” she told the Associated Press.

In a TV address on Wednesday night, the Spanish top minister warned Puigdemont and others to stop chasing the “chimera” of a referendum. “Don’t cross beforehand,” Mariano Rajoy stated. “Go again to the regulation and democracy.”

The Spanish finance minister, Luis de Guindos, said sparkling negotiations on securing Catalonia a higher deal will be held if the independence motion agreed to cancel the referendum.

“Once independence plans are dropped, we can speak,” he advised the Financial Times.

Rajoy’s authorities have time and again vowed to save you the vote from taking location, arguing that any referendum on Catalan independence would be unlawful due to the fact Spain’s 1978 constitution makes no provision for a vote on self-determination.

The constitutional court docket has suspended a referendum regulation that changed into pushed via the Catalan parliament a fortnight in the past and is investigating whether the law breaches the constitution. It has additionally warned Catalan officers that they can be fined up to €12,000 (£10,500) a day if they convey on setting up the vote.

Puigdemont and his fellow independence campaigners hold that Catalonia has a right to self-dedication and argue their unilateral referendum is justified and may be legally binding.

But the Venice Commission – a panel of professionals who advise the Council of Europe on constitutional law – has told Puigdemont that the referendum would be done “in agreement with the Spanish government … and in complete compliance with the constitution and the relevant law”.

The Spanish government has lately stepped up its efforts to head off the vote with the aid of launching a crackdown at the local government’s budget, restricting new credit and requiring significant supervision for a fee of non-vital offerings.

On Tuesday the Guardia Civil confiscated referendum files from the offices of a private shipping firm within the Catalan metropolis of Terrassa. More than 1.5m referendum leaflets and posters have also been seized.

The interior ministry has canceled go away for all the Guardia Civil and countrywide cops tasked with preventing the vote.

Thursday additionally noticed an intervention from the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, whose Scottish National birthday celebration misplaced a 2014 independence referendum agreed with the British authorities.

Sturgeon referred to as for dialogue between the two aspects, pronouncing it changed into most desirable to the sight of police officers confiscating poll papers.

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“It is of course absolutely valid for Spain to oppose independence for Catalonia, but what I think is of problem anywhere is for a state to searching for to deny the right of a human beings to democratically specific their will,” she stated.

“The right of self-dedication is a crucial international principle, and I wish very lots that it will likely be respected in Catalonia and everywhere else.”

Although greater than 70% of Catalonia’s 7.5 million human beings are in favor of protecting a referendum, surveys advise they are pretty calmly break up on the issue of independence. A survey months in the past confirmed 49.Four% of Catalans have been in opposition to independence while forty-one.1% have been in favor.

More than 80% of contributors opted for independence in a symbolic vote 3 years in the past, although most effective 2.Three million of Catalonia’s 5.Four million eligible voters took element.

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The 12 months has been a very eventful 12 months as ways as news tales move. 2009 has visible a lot of surprising surprises, and the arena has been captivated, shocked, and every so often impressed by positive information memories. Let’s check the various greater newsworthy activities at some stage in the year of 2009.

1. The financial mess. This has been one of the hardest years in present-day American records, as the financial system has sunk to lows that haven’t been seen in many years. Unemployment has rocketed, human Spain facts and culture beings have financially struggled, and funding cash appears to have dried up all around. Americans and the rest of the area are doing their satisfactory to combat through this situation.

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3. The effect of Barack Obama. As the primarily African American president in the nation’s records, Obama has damaged a massive barrier and has embraced the relaxation of the sector at the equal time. His latest Nobel Peace Prize award simply goes to reveal how a whole lot the relaxation of the world values his presence and feels his impact Spain facts and history.

News Media Vs Internet Media

National and nearby newspapers internationally are dealing with their most radical restructuring in history; scores are folding as advertisers migrate to online advertising. Cutbacks have caused masses of journalists being invited to clean their desks. Falling stream and higher manufacturing costs are making subjects worse while growing numbers of readers shop money and time through studying their favorite newspaper online Spain pictures.

Very little news content material nowadays is collected by using journalists; maximum of what we study is downloaded loose from court docket and local authority reviews. Much is editorial-advertising and product opinions. Why pay a journalist while you can see an advertiser? Another chance to standard reporting is posed by way of citizen newshounds; freelancers who provide their offerings in go back for lead accumulating opportunities prime minister of spain 2015.

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Few doubt the prevalence of online newspapers compared to difficult reproduction. The online edition of the average each day newspaper contains so many records and advertising and marketing; a builder’s laborer couldn’t hope to hold it in a wheelbarrow if it went to print. It isn’t always the Internet that threatens news hounds’ careers; it’s miles the nature of the alternate. They too are mastering to adapt qualities of a leader.

The Internet News Revolution

News organizations are nonetheless profitable but their proprietors have visible the writing on the wall. As High Street shops morph into Internet shopping the newspaper industry knows that avenue vendor and newsagent dispensed newspapers, subsidized by using online earnings, will observe typewriters into obscurity. The catch 22 situations going through the enterprise is how nice to earnings through charging browsers who get right of entry to their online variants.

Print and distribution charges are crippling information print variations; charges for online reproduction are relatively low. Online newspapers do now not have a space problem and closing dates aren’t a trouble. The news is nearly on the spot and rolled out 24/7. However, in a click on-driven competitive market online news media more and more rely on hard and investigative journalists, columnists and event analysis 10 characteristics of a leader.

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If a rate is imposed the trick could be to prevent each newspaper’s readership migrating to unfastened online variations. Under the radar, discussions are already taking location. Heading the schedule is the search to find out the maximum realistic method of having readers to pay for their PC screen content material without dropping them. News multi-millionaire Rupert Murdoch already expenses a subscription to get admission to the Wall Street Journal’s insider statistics replica. He says: “People reading information without cost on the internet; this is were given to change leader board for british open.”

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Recently it was introduced that the rich person has received a concession from Google to restrict get admission to loose news reviews. It is known as slamming the strong door earlier than the pony bolts. Head of Associated Press, Tom Curley consents: “The readers and visitors are going to ought to pay greater.” Others argue that viewers will easy not pay. The fact is no one knows as no one has been there earlier than Catalan country.

A Spanish Journalist Shows the Way

One online media hopeful is Arcadi Espada, a Catalan journalist. He is certain that print journalism does now not have a future. His online Factual will be accessed via a 50EUR annual subscription. With characteristic forthrightness, Espada says: “A journalist’s paintings aren’t always unfastened; nothing in lifestyles is loose. We ought to reinvent the commercial enterprise Catalan meaning.”

According to at least one ballot, 60 percentage of newspaper owners are thinking about methods to price for online access. A sector of them is prepared to make the leap. Those who accumulate they’re each day information and facts from online newspapers now stand at 30 percent Catalan Barcelona.

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Of the United Kingdom Times and Sunday Times 20 million plus customers, 500,000 are now established upon their online edition and space will close in addition. Plans are already in the vicinity to charge for the privilege of studying the Times online editions. Freelance journalist, Sandy Collins, doesn’t see a trouble or worry about his activity. “Some of my excellent tales have been blue-penciled out by hard replica newspapers because with restrained space to be had the advertiser is king. Online publishing is a no-brainer. Everyone wins.”

He adds: “Newspaper owners’ charges are reduced and their readership reaches an international target market capacity. As a journalist I now ship my stuff to my online editors, knowing that if it isn’t published, it turned into now not an area trouble. If paintings are regularly occurring in keeping with merit than of direction this has to enhance information first-class. It must also improve opportunities for writers Catalan leader accuses Spain of violating rights in referendum row.”

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