Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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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
court.

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.

Jul 16, 2013

Spain’s socialists threaten Rajoy with no-confidence vote

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s opposition Socialists said on Tuesday they would call a symbolic vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy if he refused to appear before Parliament to answer questions about a deepening scandal over party financing.

Rajoy’s ruling centre-right People’s Party has an absolute majority in Parliament and unless there were significant defections from members of his party, he would survive the vote.

Jun 24, 2013

Spain’s crusading ex-judge Garzon mulls helping Snowden

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish jurist Baltasar Garzon, who made an international reputation in pursuing Chilean ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 1990s, said on Monday he was considering a request from former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden for legal help.

Snowden, who exposed secret U.S. government surveillance programs in a series of leaks, left Hong Kong on Sunday to escape U.S. prosecution and the South American country of Ecuador has offered him asylum.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is Reuters' chief correspondent for Spain. She has also lived and worked as a journalist in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Portland, Oregon."
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