Located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain's richest region has its own language and a distinctive identity.
Catalonia is an autonomous community. Barcelona is the capital, and the largest city. The support for Catalan nationalism ranges from calls for further autonomy to demands of independence from the rest of Spain. The region has two official languages: Spanish and Catalan, both of which are spoken. In offices and schools, Catalan is the dominant language, while road signs and labels, for instance in museums, are usually bilingual. Approximately 11 million people live in the Catalan language area.
Accusations of totalitarianism in Spain over Catalonia’s independence vote - The mosques behind jihadist cells in Barcelona - Flying high with NATO over Russian war games - Paying for a ticket with your hand in Sweden – Behind the mask in Minsk - Justice for rape victims in Bosnian war? - Ukrainian veterans head to the Invictus Games in Canada – Cool scoops at the world gelato festival in Rimini.
There’s increasing tension between the Spanish government and its regional counterpart in Catalonia ahead of a planned independence referendum on October 1st. Madrid says the vote is illegal. Spanish police have arrested Catalan officials, a move local politicians called imposing a “de facto state of emergency”. Correspondent Guy Hedgecoe has more.
The rift deepens between east and west over migrant quotas – Poland and European Commission clash - Duelling for Chancellor on German TV - A novel Norwegian solution to solve the North Korean crisis – Caviar diplomacy with the Azerbaijani laundromat – Terror and Catalan independence - Jewish culture is celebrated in Hungary - Wild boars and vines - And fewer women going topless on French beaches.
Candlelight vigils and piles of flowers in city squares across Europe - memorials to terror victims. Think Paris, Berlin, London -- and now Barcelona, where Islamic State drove a van into pedestrians last month. But the vigils in this part of Spain look a little bit different. The terrorists hit a separatist region, and mourners are flying independence flags. From Barcelona Lauren Frayer reports.