Spanish democracy in question

Washington, DC. – Nowadays, being a democratic state does not guarantee that decisions are made democratically or transparently, even within the European Union. Spain, a country in the middle of a huge crisis, has serious concerns regarding the quality of its democracy and transparency of its institutions.

There is general discredit of the key Spanish institutions, from the top to lower levels of the administration. Last June, King Juan Carlos abdicated the throne to his son, Felipe, due to several scandals within the Royal Household. The People’s Party –currently in power in Madrid with absolute majority in Parliament– is under investigation for having a slush fund that took donations from construction magnates and redistributed them in cash-payments to party leaders, including the President of the country, Mariano Rajoy. Moreover, the current chief of the Constitutional Court (Spanish Supreme Court) took the oath while being member of the conservative People’s Party putting in question the independence of the Tribunal.

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“It is easy to see that it may be frustration in Catalonia”

[ES: Publicado el 6 de agosto de 2012 en Diari de Tarragona]
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INTERVIEW – Nicholas S. Siegel, Senior Program Officer at the Transatlantic Academy
There are thousands of think-tanks in Washington focusing on many topics. From a European perspective, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS), in alliance with the Transatlantic Academy (TA), is one among them to be considered. In mid-July, one of its Senior Program Officers, Nicholas Siegel (St. Louis, Missouri, 1981), wrote an article about the current situation in Spain between Catalonia and the central Government in Madrid. Sigue leyendo

The U.S. Human Rights Report 2011 and the Catalan Question

[Publicado el 30 de mayo de 2012 en Diari de Tarragona]
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Washington, D.C. – Finally, the State Department of the United States seems to have understood the situation in Catalonia about the coexisting of the two legally official languages, Catalan and Spanish. In the just released Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 (Spanish chapter), the Department of State shows a more independent point of view than in previous reports, less politicized, and more accurate when it referring to the Catalan language. Sigue leyendo