Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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Nov 24, 2012

Catalonia election tests Spanish unity

BARCELONA, Spain, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Voters in Spain’s
Catalonia region go to the polls on Sunday and are likely to
elect a pro-independence leader who will test Spanish unity at a
time of deep economic crisis.

Opinion polls show two-thirds of voters in this region on
the French border will cast ballots for parties, both rightist
and leftist, that want Catalan independence from Spain.

Nov 22, 2012

Catalans face up to economic risks of independence

MADRID/BARCELONA, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Industrious Catalans
widely believe their world-class companies and export-strong
economy – almost the size of Portugal’s – would be better off
without the rest of Spain.

As the region prepares for regional elections that may set
it on course for secession, that contention is being tested by a
raft of reports into the financial fallout of a split of
Europe’s fifth biggest economy.

Nov 20, 2012

Spanish breakaway fever dominates Catalan regional vote

BARCELONA, Spain, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Spain’s wealthy but
financially troubled region of Catalonia chooses a new
government on Sunday in an election that could trigger a
constitutional crisis over a resurgent Catalan breakaway
movement.

Opinion polls show most Catalans will vote for
pro-independence parties, either from the left or right, handing
their leader a mandate to hold a referendum on succession,
despite strong resistance from the Spanish government.

Nov 17, 2012

Latin America pledges support for Iberia, warns on austerity

CADIZ, Spain (Reuters) – Latin America on Saturday pledged investment opportunities for recession-hit Spanish and Portuguese companies but warned its former colonial masters drastic cost cutting would only deepen their misery.

The economic plight of Iberia dominated a two-day summit of leaders from Spain, Portugal and Latin America in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz – a principle port for Spanish galleons loaded with riches in the days of empire.

Nov 17, 2012

Latin America looks to Europe for drug fighting models

CADIZ, Spain (Reuters) – Latin American countries are turning to Europe for lessons on fighting narcotics abuse after souring on the prohibition-style approach of the violent and costly U.S.-led war on drugs.

Until recently, most Latin American countries had zero-tolerance rules on drugs inspired by the United States.

Oct 29, 2012

Politics puts Italy, Spain back in market focus

MADRID/ROME, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Italian political turmoil
and Spanish hesitancy over seeking euro zone assistance put the
two countries on the front line of the currency area’s debt
crisis back under market pressure on Monday as their leaders met
in Madrid.

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s weekend threat to
bring down his successor Mario Monti’s government, and regional
elections in Sicily in which a protest party led by a stand-up
comic polled strongly, highlighted the political risks in Italy.

Oct 25, 2012

Rajoy leans on abrasive economist in Spanish crisis

MADRID, Oct 25 (Reuters) – His face is frequently on
television and yet few Spaniards know his name; Alvaro Nadal is
central to Madrid’s crucial but often tetchy relationship with
Berlin as his government edges towards taking an international
bail-out.

Nadal is Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s right-hand man as he
struggles to lift Spain out of its crisis. A fluent German
speaker with strong conservative credentials, Nadal ought to go
down well in Berlin, where Spain’s fate in the euro zone crisis
will ultimately be decided.

Oct 11, 2012

Spain comfortable with waiting game on aid

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain is comfortable putting off an international aid request for weeks or even months as it waits out German political obstacles and seeks greater definition on the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program, analysts and sources say.

In the meantime, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is focusing on measures such as intensifying labor market reforms, as well as pushing for a European banking union that would help rebuild confidence in Spain’s tarnished banking sector.

Sep 20, 2012

In Spain, economic crisis fans Catalan separatism

MADRID, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Spain’s economic crisis is
exposing deep regional fault lines. Among Catalans on
Barcelona’s boulevards the talk is of independence, and Madrid
is worried.

This week the king and prime minister called for national
unity to get Spain through its worst downturn in decades, King
Juan Carlos recalling the spirit that built a democracy after
dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975.

Jul 18, 2012

Spain’s leader could learn some lessons from Portugal

MADRID/LISBON (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy could learn some lessons about communication from neighbouring Portugal as he struggles to restore confidence in Madrid’s public finances and avoid an international bailout.

Spain’s borrowing costs have soared, bringing the country dangerously close to being shut out of the bond markets even after euro zone partners promised aid for its ailing banks and Rajoy announced a new austerity plan last week.

    • 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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