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Guess which way he’s voting. EPA/Toni Albir

Where next for Catalonia after its unofficial referendum?

Catalans have voted for independence in a referendum that holds no official sway but has enormous significance. Now Catalonia needs to decide where to turn next. The referendum, held on November 9, was…
The sense of a distinct identity is what drives Catalans to continue pushing for independence despite the obstacles. Aleksandra Hadzelek

Democracy in action as Australia’s Catalans vote for independence

On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, another milestone in European history took place: the Catalan vote on independence. Downgraded from an official referendum – which would be illegal…
Man of the moment, Pablo Iglesias. EPA/Zipi

Meet Podemos: the party revolutionising Spanish politics

A new political party has erupted onto the Spanish political scene and is now making major waves. Podemos – whose name translates as “we can” – has pulled ahead of the country’s two main political parties…
Commotion outside house of infected nurse Teresa Ramos near Madrid. EPA

Ebola won’t gain a foothold in Western countries – here’s why

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the worst in recorded history. There have been in excess of 7,400 cases and 3,439 deaths, primarily in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. More recently, the spread of…
Spain has unfinished business thanks to an ambiguous settlement. Ivan McClellan

Spain offers a lesson in how not to deal with devolution

As the UK heads towards its next phase of devolution, it should look to Spain for an example of how to do it badly. In its attempt to please everyone as it drew up its 1978 constitution, Spain ended up…
What does Spain striker Diego Costa’s back story tell us about footballers and identity in the modern world? EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Diego Costa, Spain and problems of identity in world football

People watching the World Cup match between Spain and the Netherlands earlier in the tournament may have been wondering why Spanish striker Diego Costa was vociferously booed every time he touched the…
This is what democracy looks like: Republican demonstrators in Madrid. J. J. Guillen/EPA

Juan Carlos was no hero of Spanish democracy

When King Juan Carlos addressed the people of Spain on the day of his abdication, he spoke of his desire, nearly four decades earlier, to give Spanish citizens control of their destiny and to create “a…
The 1981 coup leaders claimed to be defending the Spanish monarchy, but King Juan Carlos ensured they did not succeed. Manuel Perez Barriopedro/Wordpress

Of kings and coups: Thailand could learn from Juan Carlos

I clearly remember the BBC news on February 23, 1981. The second item concerned an attempted coup in Spain in which armed soldiers marched into the Cortes (parliament) and took its members hostage. Their…
The ruling Popular Party is suffering from the effects of the economic crisis. EPA/Alberto Martin

EU election: idea of Europe remains powerful in Spain

Very much like the rest of the European Union, two features define the European Parliament election in Spain: a lack of interest on the part of voters, and the supremacy of national issues over European…
Historical records will be vital in deciding who has a Sephardic Jewish heritage and is therefore potentially eligible for Spanish citizenship. Flickr/michalska1

Spain moves to right a 522-year wrong, but still overlooks some

The Spanish government has approved a draft law that grants citizenship to Jews whose ancestors were expelled over 500 years ago. This follows the approval of a similar law in Portugal last year. In 1492…
Could a new method of measuring structural deficits mean easing austerity pressures on troubled Eurozone economies? Chema Sanz via Flickr

Potentially less austerity for the troubled Eurozone

The EU Commission’s autumn economic forecasts are due tomorrow. What makes this event special this year is that there are rumours about a possible change in the Commission’s approach to calculating the…
In a show of solidarity, Catalans formed a 400km human chain to call for independence. How realistic are their chances of success? EPA/Toni Albir

Catalans link up for independence … but will it happen?

An extraordinary event took place in Catalonia yesterday. Some 1.6 million people formed a human chain that covered the full stretch of the Catalan territory from north to south (400km), in a symbolic…
But I don’t speak Spanish! Wikimedia Commons

After 300 years, more monkey business on Rock of Gibraltar

Once again Britain and Spain have been at loggerheads this week over a 2.6 square mile rock which the former has occupied and the other complained about for 300 years. It would be over-egging things to…
Once feted as ‘conquistadors’, Spain’s banks now have problems closer to home. marciofleury

Spanish banks on the verge of a nervous breakdown

As in the movie that led Pedro Almodóvar to become an internationally famous film director in the late 1980s, Spanish banks have been “on the verge of a nervous breakdown” during the 4 last years, facing…
As Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy considers a bailout from the European Central Bank, commentators argue over whether the root of the country’s economic troubles sprang from its housing bubble, rather than prolifigate public spending. AAP

The cautionary tale of Spain’s real estate bubble

Spaniards Fernando and Sara got married in 2007. With the help of their parents, the couple bought a house in the outer suburbs of Sevilla because they couldn’t afford one closer to the city. An art history…

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