Midwest Correspondent
Fiona's Feed
Dec 24, 2013

Catalan public TV shuns Spanish king’s Christmas speech

MADRID, Dec 24 (Reuters) – The Spanish king’s traditional
Christmas Eve address did not air on Catalonia’s public
television on Tuesday for the first time in the broadcaster’s
30-year history, highlighting growing separatist fervour in the
wealthy north-eastern region.

Workers at the broadcaster went on a brief strike during the
king’s speech and other programming was aired instead. The
official reason was to protest cost cuts and outsourcing of some
production. Catalonia has clashed with the central government in
Madrid over cuts on spending on public services.

Dec 24, 2013

Catalan public TV to shun Spanish king’s Christmas address

MADRID, Dec 24 (Reuters) – The Spanish king’s traditional
Christmas Eve address will not be aired on Catalonia’s public
television on Tuesday for the first time since monarchy was
restored, highlighting growing separatist fervour in the wealthy
north-eastern region.

Workers at the broadcaster have called a half-hour strike
for the exact time of the king’s speech. The official reason is
to protest cost cuts and the outsourcing of some production,
part of the independence-minded region’s clash with the central
government in Madrid.

Nov 15, 2013

Madrid calls in emergency workers to clean streets

MADRID (Reuters) – Emergency workers with police escorts will begin cleaning trash off the streets of Spain’s capital on Saturday after striking street cleaners failed to reach a deal with their private employers to end an 11-day strike, city officials said.

Madrid’s streets and parks have piled up with rubbish after thousands of street cleaners walked off the job on November 5 in protest at plans to lay off 1,134 of the city’s 6,000 maintenance workers.

Nov 7, 2013

Scots have kilts, what do Catalans have?

MADRID (Reuters) – When Catalonia’s local language was reintroduced in the northern Spanish region’s schools three decades ago, Nati Grabiel was on the frontlines of the effort, training teachers to educate in the Catalan tongue.

Today, the 72-year-old retired schoolteacher is on another crusade: trying to convince the world that Catalonia should break away from Spain. She and five other pro-independence senior citizens are travelling to the United States early next year to shoot a film that explains Catalan culture and history.

Oct 9, 2013

Spain hails turnaround at oversubscribed long-term debt sale

MADRID, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Spain’s gradual recovery from
years of financial crisis received a vote of confidence on
Wednesday from investors who bought heavily into a new 31-year
government bond despite limited prospects for economic growth
and stubbornly high unemployment.

The sale marked a major improvement from a year ago when
Spain was at the centre of the euro zone debt crisis, paying as
much as 7 percent to sell 10-year debt at auctions that depended
on buying by big Spanish banks and the state pension fund.

Sep 18, 2013

Santander hiring of ex-Bankia boss Rato dismays hard-pressed Spaniards

MADRID, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Santander’s hiring of
Rodrigo Rato, former chairman of rescued lender Bankia
, was met with dismay on Wednesday by those Spaniards
doubtful that any top financier will be held to account for the
country’s banking crisis.

Rato, appointed by Santander to its international advisory
board on Tuesday, is under investigation over allegations of
fraud at Bankia in a court case that could drag on for years.

Aug 18, 2013

Booming Gibraltar fears new era of sour relations with Spain

GIBRALTAR, Aug 18 (Reuters) – The people of tiny Gibraltar -
a wealthy British enclave perched on a rocky outcrop near
Spain’s southern tip – have a tradition of griping about their
big neighbour, which claims the territory as its own.

But the tetchy relationship has taken a sharp nosedive as an
escalating spat over fishing has interrupted a decade of
relative calm, igniting concerns that Gibraltar’s tourism and
port industries could be hurt.

Aug 15, 2013

See you in court, Gibraltar chief tells Spain over fishing spat

GIBRALTAR, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Gibraltar is confident it will
win any legal case brought by Spain in a dispute over fishing
waters and border controls, the head of the British territory
told Reuters, challenging the Madrid government to meet him in

A defiant Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister, said
he welcomed Spain’s new willingness to take issues with
Gibraltar to international courts, although it has not specified
what issues and what tribunal.

Aug 9, 2013

Spain threatens unilateral steps in dispute over Gibraltar

MADRID, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy on Friday threatened unilateral measures in a spat with
Gibraltar over fisheries although he also said he hoped for
talks soon with Britain about the disputed territory.

Tensions over Gibraltar – a British overseas territory to
which Spain lays claim – flared up this month after Spain
complained that an artificial reef being built by Gibraltar
would block its fishing vessels.

Jul 18, 2013

Analysis: Rajoy sits out corruption storm within Spanish ruling party

MADRID (Reuters) – Dissent is growing within the usually disciplined ranks of Spain’s ruling center-right People’s Party over a corruption scandal, but there are few signs yet of any rebellion strong enough to topple Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Rajoy has denied any wrongdoing in the affair which involves Swiss bank accounts and allegations of a party slush fund, but it has eroded his credibility as he tries to plug a huge budget deficit and prove Spain is not the weak link of the euro zone.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is a general news correspondent for Reuters Americas based in Chicago and covering the Midwest. Previously, she was Reuters' chief correspondent in Madrid, where she covered political and economic news and ran a bureau of some 25 correspondents who wrote about everything from the debt crisis to sports. Fiona has been with Reuters since 1996 and has had assignments in Guatemala, Mexico, Chile and Argentina."
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