Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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Apr 3, 2014

Crimean annexation does Europe’s separatists no favors

MADRID/PARIS (Reuters) – Russia’s annexation of Crimea after a snap referendum staged under military occupation has whetted some appetites in the Balkans, but has done no favors to the Scots, Catalans, Flemish and others seeking independence in Europe.

The leader of ethnic Serbs in Bosnia was quick to claim a precedent, asserting his autonomous Serb Republic’s right to secede or at least turn the former Yugoslav republic into an even looser confederation.

Mar 3, 2014

Spanish ex-banker Blesa questioned by judge in mis-selling case

MADRID, March 3 (Reuters) – The ex-head of one of Spain’s
biggest troubled banks was questioned by a judge behind closed
doors on Monday over the sale of billions of euros in risky
investments to small savers, who then lost most of their money
as the financial crisis unfolded.

High Court Examining Magistrate Fernando Andreu is
investigating whether Miguel Blesa, ex-chairman of Caja Madrid,
and other executives, duped savers into buying hybrid securities
known as preference shares, sold as part of efforts to boost the
bank’s capital and cover up solvency problems.

Feb 6, 2014

Spanish anti-graft crusader makes mark in royals case

MADRID (Reuters) – When Spain’s Princess Cristina appears before a judge on Saturday for questioning on corruption charges, it will be the biggest victory yet for anti-graft crusader Miguel Bernad, a lawyer who has pursued bankers, politicians and now the royal family.

Operating out of a one-room office in Madrid, Bernad’s Clean Hands group – a loose association of lawyers – has waged a very personal war against corruption, forcing judges to investigate politically sensitive cases that may have otherwise languished.

Feb 4, 2014

Morocco says investors lining up for $9 bln solar project

MADRID, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Morocco has recruited foreign
investors to fund a $9 billion solar power project, even though
some European lenders have balked due to the location of some
planned plants in the disputed Western Sahara, its foreign
minister said.

Lending sources at German state-owned banks and at
multi-lateral lenders such as the World Bank, the European
Investment Bank and the European Union have told Reuters they
would not finance projects based in Western Sahara.

Jan 30, 2014

Exclusive: In diplomatic shift, Europe seeks improved ties with Cuba

BRUSSELS/MADRID (Reuters) – The European Union will agree next month to deepen relations with Cuba in its most significant overture to the communist nation since diplomatic sanctions were lifted in 2008, people close to the matter told Reuters.

Foreign ministers from the EU’s 28 countries will give the go-ahead on February 10 to launch talks with Havana on a special cooperation accord to increase trade, investment and dialogue on human rights. The pact could be agreed upon by the end of 2015.

Jan 30, 2014

In diplomatic shift, Europe seeks improved ties with Cuba

BRUSSELS/MADRID, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The European Union will
agree next month to deepen relations with Cuba in its most
significant overture to the communist nation since diplomatic
sanctions were lifted in 2008, people close to the matter told
Reuters.

Foreign ministers from the EU’s 28 countries will give the
go-ahead on Feb. 10 to launch talks with Havana on a special
cooperation accord to increase trade, investment and dialogue on
human rights. The pact could be agreed upon by the end of 2015.

Jan 30, 2014

Spain’s says Indra stake not for long term

MADRID, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The Spanish government’s 20
percent stake in Indra defence and technology firm is
not for the long term, and was made last year to make sure
foreign interests did not buy into the company, the defence
minister said on Thursday.

“We’ve made sure Indra is in Spanish hands,” Defence
Minister Pedro Morenes told a group of foreign correspondents.

Jan 30, 2014

Exclusive: Europe to launch talks to upgrade relations with Cuba

BRUSSELS/MADRID (Reuters) – The European Union will agree next month to deepen relations with Cuba in its most significant overture to the communist island since the bloc lifted diplomatic sanctions in 2008, people close to the matter told Reuters.

Foreign ministers from the EU’s 28 countries will give the go-ahead on February 10 to launch talks with Havana on a special cooperation accord to increase trade, investment and dialogue on human rights. The pact could be agreed by the end of 2015.

Jan 30, 2014

Europe to launch talks to upgrade relations with Cuba

BRUSSELS/MADRID, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The European Union will
agree next month to deepen relations with Cuba in its most
significant overture to the communist island since the bloc
lifted diplomatic sanctions in 2008, people close to the matter
told Reuters.

Foreign ministers from the EU’s 28 countries will give the
go-ahead on Feb. 10 to launch talks with Havana on a special
cooperation accord to increase trade, investment and dialogue on
human rights. The pact could be agreed by the end of 2015.

Jan 16, 2014

Catalonia defies Madrid with push for independence vote

MADRID (Reuters) – Local lawmakers in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia voted to seek a referendum on breaking away from Spain on Thursday, setting themselves up for a battle with an implacably opposed central government in Madrid.

The Catalan Parliament in Barcelona voted 87 to 43, with 3 abstentions, to send a petition to the national parliament seeking the power to call a popular vote on the region’s future.

    • 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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