The British are by far the biggest foreign buyers in the Spanish property market

UK citizens’ demand for Spanish homes dips amid concerns over sterling and healthcare

 Carles Puigdemont,  president of Catalonia, and his vice-president, Oriol Junqueras (left), at a  ceremony in Barcelona to make official their commitment to hold a referendum on independence. Photograph: Toni Albir

Secessionist movement in Spain seeks to end infighting with support for vote

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy: court appearance is not expected to probe any direct wrongdoing on his part, but instead possibly reveal evidence against other Popular Party members. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

Prime minister summoned to testify in court as new cases dominate headlines

People on Levante beach in Salou, Tarragona, northeastern Spain, last weekend. Spain’s tourism sector is demanding swift action from the authorities to prevent a wave of costly new food poisoning claims. Photograph: Jaume Sellart/EPA

Resort compensation claims soar as holidaymakers blame hotels for upset stomachs

A souk in Marrakech.  Morocco has not seen the kind of political upheaval that the Arab Spring sparked in its north African neighbours. Photograph: Getty Images

Critics warn the government is turning blind eye to the spread of Islamic fundamentalism

Masked members of the Basque separatist group Eta at a news conference in an unknown location in October 2011. Photograph: Gara via AP

Basque terrorist group to hand over weapons in south of France on Saturday

A woman walks past graffiti in favour of imprisoned armed Basque group Eta members in Hernani, Spain. Photograph: Vincent West/Reuters

Reports show many convicted officers were pardoned after abusing Basque detainees

Suzanne Niamke (left) at work in her busy beauty salon.

African kingdom invites migrants to remain instead of risking trip across Mediterranean

Pedro Sánchez speaks  at the Spanish Parliament  in Madrid. Many view his stridently leftist new persona with scepticism. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Former leader Pedro Sánchez spooks party veterans with radical comeback

Masked members of the Basque separatist group Eta hold up their fists in unison in this 2011 file photograph taken at an unknown location. Photograph: AP Photo/Gara via AP

News comes five years after ending of separatist terror campaign

Former premier of Catalonia Artur Mas gives a press conference  yesterday. “We don’t regret a thing. We are democrats and we are proud of having given the people a voice,” he said. Photograph: Luis Genelluis/Getty Images

Angry response to Artur Mas ban as tensions run high between Madrid and Barcelona

Spanish soccer player Cesc  Fàbregas of Chelsea: one of some 300,000 Spaniards believed to reside in the UK. Photograph: Getty Images

Leaked document says country’s corporate giants and soccer players could suffer

Gustavo de Arístegui: resigned as Spanish ambassador to India after allegations emerged about his business activities

Two men alleged to have been paid €3.3m via Emerald Business Consulting

A bus with the anti-transgender message: “Boys have penises, girls have vulvas, don’t be fooled” in a carpark in Coslada, outside Madrid. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Ultra-conservative group’s bus impounded after uproar on left and in LGBT community

African migrants stand on board a ferry to Algeciras on February 23rd after having waited in  a short-stay immigrant centre in Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta to be transferred to mainland Spain. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

‘Unusually relaxed’ border controls linked to EU court ruling on disputed territory

General secretary of Citizens Inés Arrimadas: “There is nothing more anti-Catalan than wanting to take Catalonia out of Spain.” Photograph: Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Inés Arrimadas (35) has risen to become Spanish region’s leading anti-separatist voice

Former Bankia chairman Rodrigo Rato (left) and former Caja Madrid chairman Miguel Blesa, who were convicted, along with more than 60 executives, of a €12.5 million  personal expenses scam. Photograph:  Chema Moya/Reuters

Former IMF director one of 65 bank executives convicted in €12m ‘black card’ scheme

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont (left) with his predecessor Artur Mas following the conclusion of Mr Mas’s trial for organising an informal independence referendum in 2014. Photograph: Marta Perez/EPA

Regional leader Carles Puigdemont outlines secessionist plans to Guy Hedgecoe

Some 30 men, who as children lived in the La Bañeza seminary in northern Spain, will take part in the demonstration in the town of Astorga. Photograph: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

José Manuel Ramos Gordón allowed to say Mass after admitting to abusing boys at seminary

Workmen dismantle the Onesimo Redondo monument in Valladolid in February 2016, in line with a law that decrees the disappearance of all symbols of dictator Franco. Photograph: Cesar Manso/AFP/ Getty Images

Less than impressed conservatives call for sign honouring nationalist to be removed

Former Caja Madrid bank and IMF chief Rodrigo Rato arrives at the National Court headquarters in San Fernando de Henares. Photograph: Fernando Villar/EPA

Three senior bank employees step down to face probe into Bankia’s failed flotation

Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias: scored decisive victories. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Spanish anti-austerity party seeks to end damaging rift in leadership

Íñigo Errejón and Pablo Iglesias. The two leaders of Podemos, formerly political soulmates, have had a very public falling out over party strategy. Photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Leader Pablo Iglesias and his deputy are locked in a dispute over leftist group’s future

Artur Mas, former president of Catalonia: accused of disobeying court orders. Photograph:  Marta Perez/EPA

Tens of thousands expected to protest at Barcelona court in support of Artur Mas

Jesús Candel (40), an A&E doctor from Granada in Spain who is campaigning against  local government attempts to restructure his city’s healthcare. Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Charismatic Spanish medic Jesús Candel mobilises thousands against hospital merger

Polls show Catalans are evenly divided on the independence issue. Photograph: Luis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Spanish conservatives liken secessionist project to far-right populist movements

The lead singer of heavy metal band Def con Dos, César Strawberry, who has sentenced to a year in prison for posting jokes about Eta and Grapo and talking about bombing the monarch

Woman faces possible prison for tweets as Spain’s freedom of expression questioned

Former bank robber Jason Coghlan, legal fixer on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

Former bank robber Jason Coghlan says he is the lawyer ‘a Paddy’s going to call’

 Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy meets Taoiseach Enda Kenny  in Madrid. Photograph:Sergio Barrenechea/EPA

Mariano Rajoy ‘well aware’ of circumstances pertaining to Ireland, says Taoiseach

 Pablo Iglesias: The Podemos leader has had a major falling out with his deputy, Íñigo Errejón, exposing rifts in the party. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Madrid Letter: Pablo Iglesias wants to steer party to hard left, but his deputy disagrees

A portrait  of Mário Soares is displayed on a facade of the Portuguese Socialist Party headquarters in Lisbon on Sunday, one day after his death. Soares was widely seen as the father of Portugal’s modern-day democracy. Photograph: Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Former socialist PM and president, who has died at 92, was key figure after dictatorship

Esperanza Aguirre: The former mayor of Madrid tweeted on Monday that “with Islam”, Spain “would not be free”. Photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Senior member of governing Popular Party tweeted ‘With Islam we would not be free’

Cádiz’s “carnaval”  is known for its concerts, cultural events, flamboyant costumes and general revelry. Photograph: Vittoriano Rastelli/Corbis via Getty Images

Authorities ban part of annual festival due to fears over stereotyping of young women

ECJ decision casts doubt on tax concessions offered to companies such as Santander.

Department of Finance responds to ruling in relation to Spanish tax concession scheme

Catalan parliament president Carme Forcadell  greets people  as she leaves Catalonia’s Superior Court of Justice in Barcelona on December 16th, 2016. Photograph: Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

Carme Forcadell oversaw parliament session on independence despite it being forbidden

Civil Guard Agents arrest a Spanish citizen in connection with alleged jihadist Daniel Fernandez Acena. Photograph:  Pablo Martin/EPA

Former member of anti-ETA group is suspected of planning terrorist attack for Isis

Fernando Blanco with his 11-year-old daughter  Nadia who suffers from the rare genetic disease, trichothiodystrophy

Spanish father who faked claims about daughter’s care raised €150,000 in donations

Pro-indepedence graffiti in Avià, which quotes the separatist Lluís Maria Xirinacs: “Fight against the strong when we are weak and against ourselves when we are strong.” Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Economic grievances and legal clashes with Madrid feed secessionist sentiment

Representatives of Spain’s governing Popular Party hold Spanish flags in the Catalan parliament in Barcelona last year, following a vote to begin the start of a secession process. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Region split on independence from Spain, but secessionists still dominating debate

  King Felipe VI of Spain: Would be assassin Santiago Sánchez Ramírez says he could have killed Felipe on six occasions and his father Juan Carlos on 12. Photograph:  Eduardo Parra/Getty

Gunman also had Real Madrid stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in his sights

Emilio Mola (fourth from right) walks behind Francisco  Franco at Burgos in 1936. Photograph: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images)

Sanjurjo and Mola recalled as notorious figures who helped pave way for Franco’s rule

The leader of the left-wing Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias: “Populists are outsiders, they may be from the right, the left, ultra-liberal or protectionists,” he noted. “Does that mean that the so-called extremes meet, or resemble each other? Not at all.” Photograph: Luca Piergiovanni/EPA

Pablo Iglesias strongly rejects ‘ignorant’ comparisons following US election result

Rapper Ricardo Pisa Hernández (Cardín): “Before, we weren’t as interested in music, we were just involved in crime, in stealing, in smoking marijuana, taking drugs and so on.” Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Hip-hop trio Flow Kaló make history by recording CD while imprisoned in Burgos jail

Mayor of Berga Montse Venturós (right)  leaves the courthouse in Berga after her arrest. Photograph:  Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

Detention of Montserrat Venturós angers separatists, heartens unionists

Garda trainees receive an allowance of €184 per week for their first 32 weeks. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Police in France and Spain have staged protests and withdrawn from some duties

Protesters take part in a rally after the death of the fish seller who was crushed to death inside a rubbish truck, in Al Hoceima. Photograph: Reuters

Demonstrators have blamed police for death of Mouhcine Fikri, killed by garbage truck grinder

The conservative Popular Party parliamentary group applauds leader Mariano Rajoy  after being re-elected during the parliamentary investiture vote for a prime minister, at the Spanish Congress  in Madrid. The vote ended a rollercoaster, 10-month political crisis despite bitter opposition and divisions. Photograph; Daniel Ochoa de Olza /AFP/Getty Images

Podemos and crisis-ridden Socialist Party poised to resist conservative government

A total of 139 Socialist delegates voted in favour of the motion to abstain – and support Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy – while 96 voted against. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

End to 10-month stalemate but abstention in vote may prove costly among grassroots

 Spanish bullfighter Jose Tomas performing at the monumental bullring, Barcelona, in 2010. Barcelona mayor Ada Colau announced her intention to defy Thursday’s constitutional  court decision and maintain the bullfighting ban. Photograph: Alberto Estevez/EPA

Animal rights groups and Catalan nationalists up in arms over ruling

People march behind a banner reading “Gravely ill Basque Prisoners Home” during a demonstration in San Sebastian on October 15th in support of the release of chronically and terminally ill Eta prisoners. Photograph: Vincent West/Reuters

Region marks fifth anniversary of Eta ceasefire after four decades of separatist violence

Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué in action for Spain in a recent World Cup qualifier. The player, of Catalan origin,   is frequently booed by Spanish fans for his nationalist sympathies. Photograph: Florion Goga/EPA

Madrid expected to reject Catalonia’s Scotland-style referendum slated for 2017

Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla performs a pass on a bull during a bullfight  in Lisbo on September 29th. Bullfighting has been under increasing pressure in recent years, with fewer than 1,900 bullfights held in Spain in 2014, compared to 3,650 in 2007. Photograph:  Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Sick eight-year-old boy is targeted on social media as animal rights debate heats up

Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sánchez, speaking after his resignation. Photograph: Fernando Villar/EPA

Party deposed secretary general over refusal to allow Mariano Rajoy to form government

Split down the middle . . . a poster showing Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez photographed in Madrid. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

All-out, very public war unleashed in heart of party over Sánchez stance

Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont  during a confidence vote session at the Catalan parliament in Barcelona on Thursday. Photograph:  Albert Gea/Reuters

Outcome keeps on track plan for referendum on independence from Spain next year

Actors James D’Arcy and María Valverde in a scene from Guernica, a new film by Basque director Koldo Serra.

‘There are still two versions of what happened that day,’ says film’s director Koldo Serra

Galicia’s premier  Alberto Núñez Feijóo (PP) arrives at Popular Party  headquarters in Santiago de Compostela following his  victory in a regional election at the weekend. Photograph: Lavandeira Jr/EPA

Results of regional polls strengthen position of Spain’s governing Popular Party

Podemos  leader Pablo Iglesias (centre) at an election campaign rally in the Basque Country with party candidate Pilar Zabala (in white, on his left). Photograph: Miguel Tona/EPA

Party hopes to do well as voters focus on jobs and regeneration rather than independence

Festival-goers chase the bull during the rebranded “Toro de la Pena” in Tordesillas, Spain, but, unlike previous years, they are no longer allowed to kill it. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A new decree that ‘protects’ the bull in Tordesillas has left locals unimpressed

Spain’s acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy could find his position bolstered by regional elections in Galicia and the Basque country. Photograph: Andrea Comas/Reuters

Galicia and Basque elections could boost Mariano Rajoy’s attempts to stay on as PM

People hold Catalan separatist flags during the  Diada celebration  in Barcelona: the current drive for independence began in 2012, when Madrid refused to discuss increased economic autonomy for the northeastern region. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

The Catalan national day is dominated by four-year long drive to break away from Madrid

Former Spanish industry minister José Manuel Soria, whose proposed appointment to a  post at the World Bank has sparked outrage. Photograph: Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images

Former minister disgraced by Panama Papers recommended for lucrative job

Spain’s acting prime minister and People’s Party leader Mariano Rajoy reacts during an investiture debate at parliament in Madrid on Wednesday. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Eight-month stalemate continues with likelihood of third general election in 12 months

Rajoy today – but Spain’s  acting prime minister could be gone if he fails to get enough votes to form  a new government  next week. Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

Acting PM Mariano Rajoy describes prospect of third election in a year as ‘madness’

Arnaldo Otegi has served several prison terms related to his involvement in the Basque radical left movement. Photograph: Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images

Electoral body in Spanish region says Arnaldo Otegi cannot run due to Eta conviction

Once a lively mining hub, Ciñera de Gordón is now a shadow of itself. “They’re selling everything,” Ángel Lobato Rabanal, a retired miner, told Diario de Valderrueda newspaper. “But who’s going to buy it?”

Mining firm that went bust is selling Ciñera de Gordón – including houses and a cinema

Jean Cooper at La Siesta Bowls Club. “There are people out here that rent properties, they rely on their income every month, they know how much they need to survive out here.”  Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Healthcare access and shifting incomes are making people feel very insecure in Spain

Members of the President of the Catalan government Carles Puigdemont after his budget speech at the parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona on June 8, 2016. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty

Debate and vote on path to independence appears to violate a Spanish court ruling

 Portugal’s  parliament. The country is facing sanctions over its deficit targets.

Both countries failing to meet deficit targets

Basque Nationalist Party  parliamentary spokesman Aitor Esteban and Spain’s acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy  talk during a meeting at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid on Wednesday. Photograph: Ballesteros/EPA

Former prime minister Felipe González urges Socialists to help end political impasse

Mariano Rajoy: his conservative Popular Party won the election but fell well short of a majority. Photograph: Julien Warnand/ EPA

Advances bolster Popular Party leader’s ambition to form ‘grand coalition’

Acting Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy (left) acknowledges the applause during the meeting of ruling Popular Party’s executive committee held one day after general elections, in Madrid. Photograph: EPA/Ballesteros

The Popular Party leader has topped the poll but is still short of the majority he needs

 Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s acting Prime Minister of the caretaker government, casts his vote for the Spanish general election   in Madrid. Spanish voters went back to the polls   after the last election in December failed to produce a government.  Photograph:  Denis Doyle/Getty

Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party gains 14 seats while Unidos Podemos remain in third place

Pablo Iglesias, leader of the left-wing party Podemos, gestures towards supporters at a meeting ahead of tomorrow’s elections. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Governing Popular Party confronted by new threat from the Left in weekend’s elections

María José Jiménez: fell just under 4,000 votes short of victory in December last, a small margin separating her from what would have been a historic achievement. Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

María José Jiménez in bid to become first Gypsy woman to reach Spain’s parliament

Arnaldo Otegi: “I think people want to see in me a reference point to cling to, someone who represents their values, their projects, their principles, but that’s asking an enormous amount, that’s frightening.”

Basque leader either lionised as figure of peace or reviled as apologist for terrorism

Patxi Ziskar (in red), head coach of the Kurene club: “We want [the young players] to be good people, to have the right values regarding their behaviour and how they treat opponents and playing partners.” Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Pelota, a symbol of Basque identity, is struggling to stand out from other sports in Spain

Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera (centre) walks next to Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, upon his arrival at Simon Bolivar airport in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday. Photograph: Marco Bello/Reuters

Visit by Albert Rivera of Ciudadanos draws hostile response from Maduro administration

Spain’s acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy is planning to implement new austerity measures if he remains in government after a June election, in a bid to avoid a European Commission sanction for failing to control the public deficit.

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy plans cuts to avoid European Commission sanction for failing to control the public deficit

 Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias (aged 37 - left) and United Left’s Alberto Garzón (30 - right)  gesture in front of   crowds during an event with supporters  in Madrid, Spain,  May 9th, 2016. The two  have a preliminary agreement to form a coalition for taking part in another general election next month. File photograph: EPA

Acting PM Mariano Rajoy casts self as only serious option, untainted by frenzied talks

Demonstrators listen to a speaker at Madrid’s famous  Puerta del Sol in May, 2011. Jon Aguirre Such got involved in organising a series of demonstrations that became “los indignados”. Photograph: Andrea Comas/Reuters

In early 2011, the young Basque activist was one of Spain’s most recognisable faces

 El Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen): the bodies of brothers Manuel and Antonio Ramiro Lapeña Altabás lie here.  Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Authorisation for remains of brothers killed in 1936 to be given a ‘dignified burial’

Spain’s King Felipe signs a decree to dissolve parliament and call new elections during a meeting with parliamentary speaker Patxi Lopez at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid. Photograph: Courtesy of Casa de S.M. el Rey/Handout via Reuters

Politicians failed to agree on prime minister after inconclusive December vote

Acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy (left) and Catalan president Carles Puigdemont  at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

With no government in place, separatists have progressed secession plans

A dog cools off in a fountain in Madrid. City Hall has published on its website a “dog excrement map”, highlighting all the streets of the capital where dog mess is deemed a regular problem. Photograph:  Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

People who fail to pick up after animals can either pay fine or choose to clean city streets

Spanish acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy  with Catalan president Carles Puigdemont:  pair met on Wednesday in Madrid. Photograph:  Susana Vera/Reuters

Spain’s image would be improved internationally if referendum is staged – Puigdemont

Córdoba’s Mosque-Cathedral: its new tourism brochure acknowledges the cathedral’s Islamic past. Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Campaigners celebrate victory against Catholic Church in tourism brochures feud

Pablo Iglesias, leader of the left-wing party Podemos, during a debate at the Spanish parliament in Madrid. Photograph: AFP Photo/Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Eighty per cent of voters say the political situation is ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’

Primark  opened the first store on Dublin’s Mary Street in 1969. It expanded steadily in Ireland – where it is known as Penneys – and Britain over the next three decades, before moving into Europe

Primark’s low-cost products have been popular with Spaniards seeking a bargain

Abengoa solar plant is seen at the “Solucar” solar park in Sanlucar la Mayor, near the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain . Photograph: Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo

Energy group avoids biggest Spanish corporate collapse

Rescue workers remove the coach after a crash that left 13 students dead at the AP-7 motorway in Freginals, in the province of Tarragona, northeastern Spain Photograph: Jaume Sellart/EPA

Women from Italy, Germany, France, Romania, Uzbekistan and Austria killed

Firemen work at the site of the coach crash in which 43 people were injured, although some of them only lightly. Photograph: Jaume Sellart/EPA

Three Irish students among 34 bus passengers treated in hospital after incident

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias (right) and fellow party deputy Inigo Errejon: Iglesias has sought to dampen dissent in a message to party members. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

The political party’s energy is dissipating as internal disputes pull it apart

Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla is hit by his second bull during a bullfight held on the occasion of the Las Fallas festival in Valencia on March 12th. The traditional sport is falling from public favour. Photograph:  Kai  Foersterling/EPA

Controversial sport of bullfighting is lumped in with a past Spain’s left wing seeks to obliterate

Francis Bacon: Although  based in London, he made frequent trips to Spain, drawn by the country’s lifestyle and artistic heritage. Photograph:  David Montgomery/Getty

Paintings worth €30m were stolen from private home in Madrid in June 2015

Socialist members of the Spanish parliament applaud leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and candidate for prime minister Pedro Sanchez   in Madrid. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Socialists’ attempts to forge new government have deepened divisions between parties

Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi speaks to  supporters after being released from prison on Tuesday. “This is an historic day, we’ll definitely remember this day for years to come,” one supporter said. Photograph: Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images

Otegi likely to run for Basque regional premier for the EH Bildu coalition in elections

Arnaldo Otegi speaks after being released from Logrono’s prison on March 1st, 2016. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Otegi (57) jailed in 2009 for trying to reform political party linked to terrorist group Eta

 People gather for aJunts pel Sí (Together for the Yes)  rally in Barcelona on September 25th, 2015. Photograph:  Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Parties in Madrid still wrangling over formation of a new Spanish government

 Spain’s acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy: He rejected King Felipe’s invitation to try to form a government, on the grounds that he knew he would lose the congressional confidence vote. Photograph: Diego Crespo/Prime minister’s office/

As four factions fail to form a coalition, voters wonder if big picture is ignored

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