MADRID (Reuters) – The political struggle over Catalan independence from Spain looks set to intensify after an official opinion poll on Thursday showed separatist parties on track to achieve the slimmest of majorities in a regional election this month.
Catalan President Artur Mas has portrayed the Sept. 27 vote as a proxy vote on independence for the wealthy northeastern region after the Madrid government went to court last year to block a referendum on Catalonia breaking away from Spain.
BARCELONA, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Barcelona’s new mayor is
picking a fight with home rental websites as she tries to crack
down on uncontrolled tourism that she fears could drive out poor
residents and spoil the Catalan capital’s charm.
Ada Colau is threatening to fine firms like Airbnb and
Booking.com if they market apartments from tourists without a
number showing that they are on the Catalan tourism register.
MADRID (Reuters) – A Spanish reggae festival, bowing to an international outcry, on Wednesday reversed its decision to cancel an invitation to an American Jewish musician because he had failed to spell out his views on Palestinian statehood.
The organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash festival were forced into a U-turn after the Spanish government and Jewish organizations condemned their decision last weekend to bar Matisyahu from playing.
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s interior minister on Friday denied interfering in a legal case against former IMF chief Rodrigo Rato, saying Rato had sought a controversial meeting with him because he feared for his safety.
Jorge Fernandez Diaz has faced a political storm since it emerged he held private talks with Rato, a former deputy prime minister and economy minister, at his ministry on July 29 to discuss what he said were personal matters.
MADRID, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Spain’s interior minister said on
Tuesday he would give an explanation to parliament over a
private meeting he held with Rodrigo Rato, a former IMF chief
who is the focus of a tax and money laundering investigation.
Opposition politicians say it was improper for the minister,
Jorge Fernandez Diaz, to meet someone who is under investigation
and suggested Rato, a former leading light in Spain’s
conservative ruling People’s Party (PP), might be receiving
MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday lambasted Catalan plans to test support for independence by holding a regional election, saying he would not allow anyone to break up Spain or to derail an economic recovery.
Rajoy’s broadside against Catalan President Artur Mas’s scheduling of regional elections for Sept. 27 came as his government presented a 2016 budget intended to show the ruling People’s Party as the best qualified to maintain economic stability after national elections due by the end of the year.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO is preparing for a long standoff with Russia, reluctantly accepting that the Ukraine conflict has fundamentally transformed Europe’s security landscape and that it may have to abandon hope of a constructive relationship with Moscow.
Some NATO allies, anxious to avoid a new Cold War or being dragged into an expensive arms race, had hoped the crisis in relations caused by President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region last year would blow over quickly, just as a chill over Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia did.
BRUSSELS, July 6 (Reuters) – NATO is preparing for a long
standoff with Russia, reluctantly accepting that the Ukraine
conflict has fundamentally transformed Europe’s security
landscape and that it may have to abandon hope of a constructive
relationship with Moscow.
Some NATO allies, anxious to avoid a new Cold War or being
dragged into an expensive arms race, had hoped the crisis in
relations caused by President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of
Ukraine’s Crimea region last year would blow over quickly, just
as a chill over Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia did.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Council President Donald Tusk urged European leaders to spend more on defense on Friday as deadly attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait drove home his point about dramatic changes to the security situation in Europe and its neighborhood.
Although their talks were overshadowed by the Greek debt crisis, Britain’s attempt to renegotiate its membership and a row over migration, European Union leaders also discussed at a Brussels summit how to strengthen Europe’s defense industry and how to make Europe a stronger player in the security arena.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO will decide how quickly to scale back its mission to train Afghan security forces after judging how well they perform in this summer’s “fighting season”, the alliance’s chief said on Thursday.
Afghan government forces, now with little foreign military support, have suffered heavy casualties this year battling the Taliban, who have increased their attacks in the north as well as their traditional southern and eastern strongholds.