The government expects to lose a key budget vote today and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez plans to announce an early general election soon after so government sources said yesterday.
The sources said the snap election date had not been set yet, but added that April 14 was the most likely date, followed by April 28, because Sanchez wanted a ballot as soon as possible to mobilise left-leaning voters against the threat of the right coming to power.
The budget vote depends largely on pro-independence Catalan parties, who have so far said they would oppose it.… Read all the news
Protesters blocked highways in Catalonia this morning as the trial of separatist leaders gets underway in the Supreme Court in Madrid.
The protests, which have also led authorities to close off some main roads in Barcelona, were timed with the start of arguably Spain’s most consequential trial in four decades of democracy.
Twelve defendants are being tried for their roles in pushing ahead with a unilateral independence declaration based on the results of a referendum that ignored a constitutional ban.… Read all the news
If Spain’s parliament rejects the 2019 budget proposal, the current minority Socialist government due to run till 2020, would be cut short .. so the party’s Deputy Secretary General Adriana Lastra said yesterday.
It is up to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to take the final decision on whether to call an early election, Lastra said during a conference in Madrid.The budget vote is due tomorrow.
Spain is bracing for the nation’s most sensitive trial in four decades of democracy this week, with a dozen Catalan separatists facing charges including rebellion over a failed secession bid in 2017.… Read all the news
Catalan Separatist Trial
As 12 Catalan separatist leaders prepare to go on trial in Madrid tomorrow .. Spain has been forced to defend the independence and impartiality of its courts.
Catalan separatists have dismissed the high-profile trial as a “farce” whose outcome is already pre-determined.
Not so, says the government, which has published a file to show Spain’s justice system is just as fair as its European counterparts, citing rankings by the European Commission, the European Court of Human Rights and Transparency International.… Read all the news
Right Wing Protest
Tens of thousands gathered in Madrid yesterday for a protest by right-wing parties opposed to a government plan to ease tension in the Catalonia region.
The centre-right PP and Ciudadanos say Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s plan to appoint an intermediary for talks with separatists amounts to treason.
The separatists have rejected the offer – they want a new independence vote.
Like the right, the ruling Socialists also oppose Catalan independence.
Far-right groups including the Vox party were also present at the protest, held under the slogan “For a united Spain.… Read all the news
A search is underway on Mallorca for a 41-year-old woman who has been missing after going hiking.
Her husband reported her disappearance after she failed to return home after leaving their house at 9am.
A search operation is underway with a helicopter and rescue group scouring the area.
And in a separate incident on Mallorca, five climbers were rescued in a hair raising rescue in the early hours yesterday morning after becoming trapped on a cliff edge for 11 hours.… Read all the news
Fatal Road Accident
Five rail workers were killed in a road traffic accident early yesterday when the van that was carrying them to work crashed into a truck and overturned.
The victims all worked for Monferra, a company that assembles and maintains railways, and had been on their way to a job when the accident happened.
The workers were all from Las Cabezas de San Juan in Sevilla Province and had been traveling in the early hours.
The driver of the truck that was involved in the collision was hospitalized.… Read all the news
Car Crash Deaths
Emergency Services have confirmed five people died in a crash between a lorry and a car this morning.
The accident happened on the A-394 between Utrera and Arahal in the province of Sevilla.
The five victims were traveling in the car according to health officials.
Guardia Civil traffic officers are at the scene to investigate the cause of the accident.
In a separate incident in Almeria a 48-year-old man died after his car overturned in the early hours of the morning in El Ejido.… Read all the news
Hundreds of towns and villages have been ordered to remove vestiges of General Franco’s dictatorship – including renaming streets.
A total of 1,171 roads and squares retain names or figures that were originally a homage to the dictator and his men, and the 656 local councils they belong to have been given instructions to wipe them out.
This falls in line with the Law of Historic Memory, passed in 2007, and the request has come from the ministry of justice.… Read all the news
Madrid Taxi Strike
Taxi-drivers in Madrid called off their indefinite strike yesterday after 16 days during which they obtained no concessions from the regional government.
Madrid’s refusal to accept drivers’ demands came after ride-hailing companies Uber and Cabify said last week they were suspending their services in Barcelona in response to the imposition of limits on how they operate in the city.
Union representatives in Madrid said the strike had demonstrated the unity and power of the drivers, which would help them continue the fight for their demands.… Read all the news