Catalan ultimatum withstands
By James Parkes DESPITE Catalan regional president Quim Torra coming under fire, after he gave the PM until November to agree on a referendum for Cataluña or his party would withdraw its support to the PSOE central government, he has maintained his threat - although slightly postponing it.
The ultimatum delivered last week - as published by Costa Blanca News - led to a crisis within the Catalan government as Sr Torra's own party PdCat and his government supporters ERC were not in agreement with his statement.
On the other hand, radical nationalist and anti-establishment group CUP demanded immediate action.
The entire situation led to the interruption of the usual regional parliamentary general politics debate and has underlined the differences between separatists.
Hence, Sr Torra has slightly diluted the ultimatum, by saying he only guarantees his party's support to the PSOE government in Madrid until the Supreme Court passed sentence on the Catalán leaders in prison over the incidents in the region a year ago, when unilateral independence was proclaimed and the then PP-government applied article 155 of the Constitution to take over direct control of the region and call elections that where held in December.
The sentences are expected in December, which, according to Sr Torra would be the new deadline - effectively a new ultimatum.
This ultimatum also puts pressure on the judicial system, as in the event of extended prison sentences for those detained, the stability of central government would be compromised - always taking into account if Sr Torra fulfills his threat. In a vote held on Tuesday, ERC broke the separatists’ united front by siding with the PSOE in voting in favour of the replacement of the regional MPs that are at large or currently in prison.
PdCat (JxC) wanted the MPs (which include former regional president Puigdemont) to retain their seats and delegate their vote in other MPs. Environmentalist association Ecologistas en Acción have this week launched a 'non-hunters licence' as opposed to the hunting permit required throughout Spain. The group has launched the licence to protest agains what is considers an 'abuse in hunting privileges'. Throughout Spain there are 332,000 legal hunters (signed on at a hunting federation) and around 800,000 licences - one hunter can have several depending on the type of hunting during the season that begins this month. The non-hunting licence can be obtained free of charge via the Ecologistas en Acción website and is open to non-members too. Two Spanish bars, one in Madrid and one in Barcelona, have been listed in this year's edition of The World's Best Bars published by British group William Reed Business Media since 2009. Barcelona's Paradiso is ranked at number 37 (rising from 67 in 2017) and Madrid's Salmón Gurú is in 47th place (82nd in 2017). The list is elaborated following the results of a jury of 500 experts in cocktail mixing worldwide.