Mariano Rajoy - updates

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Catalonia's ex-leader Puigdemont banned from EU polls – party

Apr 29, 2019 - 11:02 PM

Together for Catalonia accuses the electoral commission of wanting to 'silence and push aside' Carles Puigdemont 'so that he can't explain what he represents at the heart of European institutions'

Spain's new PM unveils pro-EU government dominated by women

Jun 07, 2018 - 10:13 AM

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says his executive is 'a reflection of the best in society' – a society he describes as composed of women and men, old and young, rooted in the European Union

CABINET. Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez speaks during a press conference to announce his new cabinet members at La Moncloa palace in Madrid on June 6, 2018. Photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Socialist Pedro Sanchez sworn in as new Spanish PM

Jun 02, 2018 - 6:24 PM

Sanchez replaces Mariano Rajoy, who was ousted in a historic no-confidence vote sparked by fury over corruption woes afflicting his party

OATH OF OFFICE. Spain's new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez takes the oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace near Madrid on June 2, 2018. Photo by Emilio Naranjo/Pool/AFP

Judge refuses to free 4 Catalan leaders as elections near

Dec 04, 2017 - 7:47 PM

(UPDATED) Six other former ministers who were also remanded in custody last month will be released on bail of 100,000 euros ($120,000) each as an investigation into charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds continues

INDEPENDENCE. Catalan pro-independence center-right grouping Junts per Catalunya - JUNTSXCAT (All for Catalonia) candidate for the upcoming regional election in Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, speaks via video-conference to present their electoral program at the party's headquarters in Barcelona on December 3, 2017. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Spain PM Rajoy calls on companies not to leave Catalonia

Nov 12, 2017 - 9:51 PM

'We have to recover the sensible, practical, enterprising and dynamic Catalonia,' says Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

UNITY. Protesters wave Spanish and Catalan Senyera flags during a pro-unity demonstration in Barcelona on October 29, 2017. Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP

Rajoy in Barcelona for first Catalonia visit since direct rule

Nov 12, 2017 - 4:23 PM

His visit comes two weeks after he dismissed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his government and the parliament, suspended the region's autonomy and called for new elections there

PM PRESSCON. In this file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gives a press conference after a cabinet meeting at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, on October 27, 2017. Javier Soriano/AFP

Catalans flood Barcelona to demand leaders' freedom

Nov 12, 2017 - 8:15 AM

8 members of the axed Catalan cabinet are currently detained on charges of sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds

UNITED. A man holds an Catalan pro-independence Estelada flag while others hold placars reading 'Freedom' during a demonstration in Barcelona on November 11, 2017 calling for the release of jailed separatist leaders. Josep Lago / AFP

Crunch day for Catalonia as Madrid takes control

Oct 30, 2017 - 4:04 PM

(UPDATED) Catalan leaders, sacked by the central Spanish government, urge 'democratic opposition' to Madrid, raising fears around Europe that Spain's worst crisis in decades might turn ugly

LEADERS. In this file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont arrive for a mass to commemorate victims of terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, at the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona on August 20, 2017. Pascal Guyot/AFP

Mass march for unity after Catalan independence move

Oct 29, 2017 - 6:26 PM

(UPDATED) Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rally in Catalonia's capital Barcelona, waving national and European flags and chanting 'Viva Espana!' to denounce regional lawmakers' vote to sever the region from Spain

ONE SPAIN. People hold up Spanish flags during a demonstration calling for unity in Barcelona on October 28, 2017, a day after direct control was imposed on Catalonia over a bid to break away from Spain. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

'Independent' Catalonia braces for pro-unity rally

Oct 29, 2017 - 10:00 AM

Pro-unity protesters will gather in Catalonia's capital Barcelona, two days after lawmakers voted to split the wealthy region from Spain

ONE SPAIN. People hold up Spanish flags during a demonstration calling for unity in Barcelona on October 28, 2017, a day after direct control was imposed on Catalonia over a bid to break away from Spain. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Axed Catalan leader urges resistance to Madrid rule

Oct 28, 2017 - 9:34 PM

(2nd UPDATE) The central government's intervention was 'contrary to the will expressed by the citizens of our country at the ballot box,' says Carles Puigdemont

DEFIANT. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont leaves the hemicycle after Catalonia's parliament voted to declare independence from Spain on October 27, 2017 in Barcelona. Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP

Spain seizes control of 'independent' Catalonia

Oct 28, 2017 - 5:28 PM

(UPDATED) All eyes will be on whether Catalonia's separatist executive, led by Carles Puigdemont, will willingly step aside for caretaker envoys from Madrid

Spain on a knife's edge as Madrid seizes control of rebel Catalonia

Oct 28, 2017 - 8:40 AM

After regional lawmakers voted to declare a Catalan 'republic,' Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy moves swiftly to dissolve the rebel government and parliament, and calls December 21 elections to replace them

DISSOLVED? Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gives a press conference after a cabinet meeting at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, on October 27, 2017. Photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Catalan separatists vow disobedience as Spain standoff mounts

Oct 23, 2017 - 11:55 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party denounces Madrid's plans as the 'biggest aggression' against the Catalan people since the Franco dictatorship

FOR INDEPENDENCE. Protesters wave pro-independence Catalan Estelada flags during a demonstration in Barcelona on October 21, 2017 in support of two separatist leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who have been detained pending an investigation into sedition charges. Pau Barrena/AFP

Catalan leader blasts Spain move to sack separatists

Oct 21, 2017 - 8:43 PM

(2nd UPDATE) Spain invokes Article 155 of its constitution, which allows Madrid to wrest back control of rebellious regions

CATALONIA CRISIS. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gives a press conference after a crisis cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace on October 21, 2017 in Madrid. Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Spain to grab Catalonia powers as crisis intensifies

Oct 21, 2017 - 1:08 PM

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet with his cabinet to set out specific powers it plans to take away from the wealthy northeast region

CATALONIA POWERS. Spain Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is likely to announce plans to take control of Catalonia's 16,000-strong police force. Photo by Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Catalonia crisis: EU's Tajani blasts those 'sowing discord'

Oct 21, 2017 - 7:32 AM

Catalonia went ahead with an independence referendum on October 1 deemed unconstitutional by the courts that was marred by a police crackdown on voters

CRISIS. Catalonia braced for protests after a judge ordered the detention of two powerful separatist leaders, further inflaming tensions in the crisis over the Spanish region's chaotic independence referendum. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Spain's Rajoy says 'critical point' reached in Catalonia

Oct 20, 2017 - 9:15 PM

'We have reached a critical point,' Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tells a press conference following an EU leaders summit in Brussels that backed his conservative government

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a press conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on October 25, 2016. File photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Catalan separatists in cash withdrawal protest

Oct 20, 2017 - 6:00 PM

Protesters withdraw their cash from major banks in Spain in protest of the central government and at banks which moved their headquarters out of the Spanish region over its independence crisis

WITHDRAWING TO PROTEST. Joaquim Curbet poses with an envelope with 155 euros inside after withdrawing that amount of money from a Banc Sabadell ATM during a protest called by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural to show their dissatisfaction with the Spanish government, on October 20, 2017 in Barcelona. Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP

Spain to push ahead with suspending Catalan autonomy

Oct 19, 2017 - 4:44 PM

(UPDATED) Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warns he would trigger Article 155 of Spain's constitution – a never-before-used measure allowing it to impose direct rule over the wealthy northeastern region – unless Carles Puigdemont backs down

FOR INDEPENDENCE. People hold candles and a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag during a demonstration in Barcelona against the arrest of two Catalan separatist leaders on October 17, 2017. Pau Barrena/AFP

Hapilon and Maute, war on drugs, Catalonia | Evening wRap

Oct 16, 2017 - 10:02 PM

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Catalan leader pressured as independence deadline looms

Oct 16, 2017 - 12:20 AM

Carles Puigdemont faces a deadline on Monday, October 16, to clear up his ambiguous stance on secession

Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont delivers a speech on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the death of Catalan leader Lluis Companys at the Montjuic Cemetery in Barcelona on October 15, 2017. Companys had proclaimed a "Catalan state in the Spanish federal republic" in 1934 to oppose the conservatives who governed in Madrid. Exiled in France, Companys was denounced by the Nazis in 1940 and handed over to Spain where he was executed. / AFP PHOTO / PAU BARRENA

Spain marks national day with show of unity in Catalan crisis

Oct 13, 2017 - 9:16 AM

To mark the national holiday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Felipe VI attend the parade in central Madrid as the country struggles with its worst political crisis in a generation

NATIONAL DAY. Protesters wave Spanish and Catalan flags during a demonstration called by Catalan Civil Society under the motto 'Catalonia yes, Spain too' in Barcelona on October 12, 2017. Photo by Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Spain threatens to suspend Catalonia's autonomy in crisis

Oct 11, 2017 - 9:08 PM

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vows to do everything in his power to prevent Catalan secession following a banned referendum in the region, which remains deeply divided over independence

MARIANO RAJOY. Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy leaves after giving a press conference following a crisis cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace on October 11, 2017 in Madrid. Photo by AFP.

Spain denounces Catalan leader's 'trickery'

Oct 11, 2017 - 4:55 PM

Carles Puigdemont's address to the regional Catalan parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday 'was frankly trickery, once more, their ruses in order to have things both ways,' Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis tells Europe 1 radio

CARLES PUIGDEMONT. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont poses before an AFP interview in Girona on September 30, 2017. File photo by Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Catalan leaders sign independence declaration but put it on hold

Oct 11, 2017 - 7:55 AM

As Spain heads into the unknown, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wil chair an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the central government's response

CRISIS MODE. Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont (C) chairs a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on October 10, 2017. Pau Barrena/AF{

Spain warns Catalan leader ahead of independence showdown

Oct 10, 2017 - 6:09 PM

(UPDATED) Whether or not Carles Puigdemont will follow through on the threat to announce a full breakaway – defying the central government and Spanish courts – is still a mystery

SPAIN AND CATALONIA. Police officers patrol outside the High Court of Catalonia in Barcelona on October 10, 2017.  Photo by Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Huge rally in Barcelona against Catalan independence

Oct 08, 2017 - 10:40 PM

(UPDATED) Some protesters call for Catalonia's separatist president Carles Puigdemont to go to jail, while others call for dialogue

Protesters congratulate Spanish policemen after a demonstration called by "Societat Civil Catalana" (Catalan Civil Society) to support the unity of Spain on October 8, 2017 in Barcelona. Ten of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators packed central Barcelona to rally against plans by separatist leaders to declare Catalonia independent following a banned secession referendum. Catalans calling themselves a "silent majority" opposed to leaving Spain broke their silence after a week of mounting anxiety over the country's worst political crisis in a generation.  / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE

Spain rejects mediation as Catalans plan to declare independence

Oct 05, 2017 - 10:00 AM

(UPDATED) Catalan leaders say they could unilaterally declare independence as early as Monday, October 9

A man holds a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag during a demonstration in support of the referendum in Catalonia on October 01, 2017, in Granada. / AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO

Catalan crisis worsens after Spanish king slams independence bid

Oct 04, 2017 - 7:39 AM

(UPDATED) Spain braces for further political upheaval as a crisis over Catalan demands for independence deepened after King Felipe VI urges authorities to defend 'constitutional order'

THE KING SPEAKS. This handout picture released on October 3, 2017 by the Spanish Royal House (Casa Real) shows Spain's King Felipe VI addressing the nation on October 3, 2017 in Madrid, as the country grapples with its biggest political crisis in decades over an independence drive in Catalonia. Francisco Gomez/Casa Real/Handout/AFP

Spain in crisis after police violence in Catalan vote

Oct 03, 2017 - 7:19 AM

Spain comes under international pressure to resolve a spiraling crisis with its Catalan region after a banned independence referendum was marred by shocking scenes of police violence

IN PROTEST. People shout slogans as they wave Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flags during a protest in Barcelona on October 2, 2017 a day after hundreds were injured in a police crackdown during Catalonia's banned independence referendum. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Catalan leader threatens independence from Spain after chaotic vote

Oct 02, 2017 - 7:16 AM

Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont says the region won the right to break away from Spain after 'millions' turned out to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid

SI. A man waves an 'Estelada' (Pro-independence Catalan flag) from a balcony after the closing of the 'Espai Jove La Fontana' (La Fontana youth center) polling station, on October 1, 2017 in Barcelona. Pau Barrena/AFP

Catalans occupy polling stations ahead of contested vote

Sep 29, 2017 - 11:20 PM

(UPDATED) In one of the biggest crises to hit Spain since democracy was restored after the death of Franco in 1975, the referendum has pitched the wealthy northeastern region against central government and sown divisions among Catalans themselves

PRO-INDEPENDENCE RALLY. People hold Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flags as farmers demonstrate with tractors during a pro-referendum protest called by the Union 'Unio de Pagesos' on September 29, 2017 in Barcelona. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Catalan police warn of public disorder if polling stations closed

Sep 28, 2017 - 9:01 AM

The Catalan government has vowed to press ahead with Sunday's (October 1) plebiscite in the wealthy northeastern region despite a crackdown by Madrid which wants to prevent a vote deemed unconstitutional by the courts

CRY FOR FREEDOM. People raise their fist and wave Esteladas (Pro-independence Catalan flag) during a campaign meeting for a banned independence referendum on September 27, 2017 in Barcelona. Pau Barrena/AFP

Police ordered to seize ballot boxes ahead of Catalonia vote

Sep 12, 2017 - 10:17 PM

The vote is set for October 1 The northeastern region s separatists are determined to go ahead with it despite Madrid s refusal and a court ban as a struggle between Catalonia and Spain s central government escalates

SPAIN POLICE. A police officer stands by the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona on August 20, 2017, before a mass to commemorate victims of two devastating terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. Photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP

Madrid seeks to block Catalonia independence bid

Sep 08, 2017 - 1:26 PM

This referendum no matter how much they try to impose it in a hasty amateur and illegal way will not take place says Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

REFERENDUM? Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a press conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on October 25, 2016. File photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain to charge Catalan leaders over independence vote

Sep 07, 2017 - 9:23 PM

Criminal charges are being prepared against the leaders of the Catalan parliament as well as officials in the regional government who prepared the referendum decree general prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza tells reporters

MARIANO RAJOY. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy leaves after a press conference at La Moncloa palace in Madrid on September 7, 2017. Photo by Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Spanish PM takes stand as witness at political graft trial

Jul 27, 2017 - 7:56 AM

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy denies any knowledge of an illegal financing scheme within his conservative Popular Party as he testifies as a witness at a major graft trial

AT THE STAND. A monitor shows Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy declaring as a witness in a major graft trial involving members of his conservative Popular Party at Spain's High Court in San Fernando de Henares near Madrid on July 26, 2017. Gerard Julien/AFP

Spain PM urges calm in face of 'authoritarian delusions' in separatist Catalonia

Jul 05, 2017 - 5:13 PM

Lawmakers who form the coalition say that Catalonia would declare independence immediately if the region s voters opt to separate from Spain in the vote planned for October 1

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a press conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on October 25, 2016. File photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain says no Gibraltar 'red lines' in Brexit

Apr 30, 2017 - 1:20 AM

EU leaders granted Madrid a veto over any future deal with Britain that would involve ithe territory in the recently released EU 27 guidelines on Brexit

ROCK OF GIBRALTAR. Motorists queue at the border crossing between Spain and Gibraltar in La Linea de la Concepcion on August 7, 2013. Marcos Moreno/AFP/File

Gibraltar: A Brexit negotiating weapon for Madrid, EU

Apr 04, 2017 - 12:09 PM

Tensions over the territory have ebbed and flowed over the years but they spiked again due to a clause in the EU s position in upcoming Brexit negotiations

'THE ROCK.' The Gibraltar Rock is pictured from La Linea de la Concepcion near ther southern Spanish city of Cadiz on March 28, 2017. Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Spain's Catalonia again calls for Scottish-style independence vote

Mar 20, 2017 - 11:15 AM

Catalan leaders: The scenario of an agreed referendum is what we desire in Catalonia

ANOTHER REFERENDUM? This file photo taken on September 11, 2016 shows people waving 'Estaladas' (pro-independence Catalan flags) during a pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona during the National Day of Catalonia 'Diada'. Josep Lago/AFP

Catalan separatists launch new independence campaign

Jan 16, 2017 - 8:11 AM

The battle is on for minds rather than hearts with the region s main independence association the Catalan National Assembly ANC going after those hardest to convince

This file photo taken on September 11, 2016 shows people waving 'Estaladas' (pro-independence Catalan flags) during a pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona during the National Day of Catalonia 'Diada'. Josep Lago/AFP

Spain ends 10-month political crisis

Oct 30, 2016 - 7:25 AM

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wins a parliamentary confidence vote pledging to plough on with his economic policies

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy leaves a press conference following the results of the regional election in Catalonia at Moncloa palace in Madrid on September 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU

Spain's king asks acting PM Rajoy to form government

Oct 26, 2016 - 12:40 AM

UPDATED This means Spain should finally get a government next week capping a rollercoaster 10 months that saw the country go through two inconclusive elections

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a press conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on October 25, 2016 following a meeting with the Spanish King Felipe VI an obligatory stage in the post-election process and the fifth to take place since last December. Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain's Socialist Party chief steps down

Oct 02, 2016 - 8:20 AM

Spain s Socialist chief Pedro Sanchez quits after high ranking party members staged a rebellion against him in a move that could pave the way to unblocking the country s political paralysis

In this file photo, the leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) Pedro Sanchez gestures during a press conference at the PSOE headquarters in Madrid, December 23, 2015. Pedro Armestre/AFP

Acting PM's party boosted in regional elections in Spain

Sep 26, 2016 - 7:30 AM

The results boost Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy s bid to form a new government at national level and end lasting political paralysis following inconclusive elections in December and June

A man waits for casting his ballot for the September 25 Galician regional election at a polling station in Vigo, northwestern Spain. Miguel Riopa/AFP

Spain PM's bid to form new gov't rejected again, elections loom

Sep 03, 2016 - 7:10 PM

Political leaders now have two months to explore alternative alliances but if their efforts come to nothing election weary Spanish voters will be asked to return to the polls in December

Spanish interim Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy looks on in the Spanish Congress (Las Cortes) on August 30, 2016, in Madrid. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Rajoy seeks support for second term as Spanish PM

Aug 31, 2016 - 6:17 AM

If there is no breakthrough two months after Wednesday s August 31 parliamentary ballot vote weary Spaniards will be asked to return to the polls on December 25 due to the timings set out in Spanish election law

Spanish interim Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy looks on in the Spanish Congress (Las Cortes) on August 30, 2016, in Madrid. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Spanish matador gored to death in the ring

Jul 10, 2016 - 10:42 AM

Victor Barrio 29 is pronounced dead at the scene after being struck in the chest by the massive bull who tossed him in the air before he fell to the ground

In this file photo, Spanish matador Javier Fernandez lies on the ground after being hurled by a bull during the second bullfight of the San Fermin Festival at the Pamplona bullring on July 8, 2016. Pamplona is host to the most famous of Spain's many bull-running festivals, where hundreds of people try to outrun six charging bulls over 800 metres (yards). Photo by Miguel Riopa/ AFP