Students gather at the historical headquarters of the University of Barcelona during a pro-referendum demonstration. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Madrid deploys series of measures widely seen as heavy-handed in Catalonia

Protesters gather in front of Spanish policemen outside the headquarters of the CUP in Barcelona on Wednesday. Photograph: Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty

October 1st independence vote to go ahead, says Puigdemont, after Spanish police raid

Christian Loris, deputy coach of the Alma de África football team, in the park in Jerez where they train. Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

After surviving perilous journey to Europe, players compete in Andalucía team

People wave “Esteladas” (pro-independence Catalan flags) in Barcelona on the national day of Catalonia, the “Diada”, on September 11th. Photograph:  Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

Madrid launches legal offensive to thwart October 1st vote for Catalan independence

Thousands of people carry a giant Catalan independence flag and a banner reading ‘Referendum is Democracy’, in Barcelona,  Spain. Photograph: Roser Vilallonga/ Catalan National Assembly/EPA

Thousands rally in Barcelona amid Spanish government threats over illegal referendum

Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero  has gained folk-hero status, particularly among Catalans of a nationalist persuasion. Photograph: Andreu Dalmau/EPA

Madrid Letter: Performance of Catalan police under scrutiny as referendum looms

People hold Catalan separatist flags on Catalonia day “Diada” in central Barcelona in 2014. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Nationalists say ‘there is still time for politics’ as Madrid insists there will be no referendum

Moroccan migrants sit at the port of Barbate waiting to be transferred by Spanish Guardia Civil after being rescued in  the Strait of Gibraltar off the Spanish coast in July. Photograph: Marcos Moreno/AFP/Getty Images

Number of people making 15km crossing from Morocco to Tarifa area has quadrupled

A watermarked CCTV frame grab provided by Spanish newspaper El Pais shows a suspect walking through La Boqueria market seconds after a van crashed into pedestrians in Barcelona, on August 17th. Photograph: Courtesy of El Pais via Reuters .

Police believe Younes Abouyaaquob (22) was the driver in Las Ramblas van assault

Families of young men believed responsible for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils gather along with members of the local Muslim community to denounce terrorism and show their grief in Ripoll, north of Barcelona, SpainPhotograph: AP Photo/Francisco Seco

Family of missing suspect Younes Abouyaaquob believe attackers were radicalised by local imam

“Nobody suspected anything of this kind could be afoot, not the mayor’s office, not the residents - nobody,” deputy mayor Maria Dolors Vilalta said. Photograph: iStock

Town stunned by the news that several residents were involved in Barcelona attacks

 Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, prime minister Mariano Rajoy, King Felipe, president of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, and Spanish interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, observe a minute’s silence at Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona on Friday in honour of those killed in Thursday’s terror attack on Las Ramblas. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Spanish police hunt for driver of van in Barcelona attack as details of 14 people killed emerge

A Spanish policeman stands guard as people leave the cordoned-off area on Las Ramblas in Barcelona shortly after Thursday’s attack. Photograph: Luis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

By Friday morning 14 civilians were dead and one of Europe’s grandest cities was in shock

Policemen, residents and tourists observe a minute’s silence in Barcelona’s Plaça de Catalunya today to pay tribute to the terror attack victims. Photograph: EPA

Crowds gather in Barcelona to condemn terrorism and support victims of the attack

A woman gestures as she is escorted out by Spanish policemen outside a cordoned off area. Photograph: Pau Barrena/Getty Images

Catalonia declares three days of mourning as authorities form crisis cabinet to deal with situation

General Francisco Franco in a 1960s photograph. On winning the Spanish civil war  in 1939, he became dictator until his death of natural causes in 1975. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Spanish dictator’s supporters claim his legacy has been misunderstood

Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy speaks at a People’s Party event on violence against women after testifying in the Gurtel corruption case in Madrid. Photograph: Paul Hanna

Prime minister insists in court he had no role in Popular Party’s allegedly shady finances

The Balearic Bulls law states that animals must not be harmed or killed in the bullring, with matadors only allowed to use a cape and a stick – and not a sword as is customary – to fight the bull. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Spanish government expected to appeal against new bullfighting restrictions

Assempling a giant Estelada flag – Catalan’s separatist flag –  during a pro-independence rally in Sant Cugat del Valles, near Barcelona. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Speculation mounts over drastic option to stop independence vote

Roses are placed to mark the 20th anniversary of the kidnapping and murder of Miguel Ángel Blanco in Ermua, the Basque Country town where he was a Popular Party councillor. Photograph: Luis Tejido/EPA

Death of Miguel Ángel Blanco 20 years ago remembered with acrimony

Deputies of the Catalan Parliament pose with ballot boxes after the presentation of the details of the referendum of self-determination of Catalonia to be held on  October 1st.  Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Internal tensions also hamper separatists before proposed independence vote

A group of 52 migrants who were rescued  by the Spanish coastguard are met by Red Cross personnel  at Málaga harbour on June 21st. Photograph:  Guillaume Pinon/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Migrants make hazardous journeys across deserts and Mediterranean to reach Málaga

Protesters from  animal rights organisation Peta in front of the town hall in Pamplona, Spain, on Wednesday. They were demonstrating against the treatment of fighting bulls in the city’s San Fermín festival, which begins on Thursday. Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA

Raft of safety measures introduced as world-famous week-long festival begins

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy,  King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and President of the Congress Ana Pastor,  during Wednesday’s celebration of the  anniversary of Spain’s first democratic elections. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Monarch acknowledges ‘immense tragedy’ of Franco ‘dictatorship’ for first the time

A charred forest after a wildfire in Mazagon, near the Donana National Park in southern Spain. Photograph: Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images

Blaze threatened to cause widespread damage to Doñana wildlife reserve

 Iván Fandiño (36) died in hospital after being gored while bullfighting. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Animal rights activists applaud bull that killed Iván Fandiño in southwest France

A burned car stands on the side of the road  near Castanheira de Pera, in Leiria district, Portugal.  Photograph:   Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Death toll rises to 63, with many trapped in their homes or killed trying to flee in cars

Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez speaking in Madrid on June 18th: “In recent times we forgot who we were.” Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

Spain’s socialist party leader seeks to unite deeply divided party

 Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy receives a standing ovation from his party colleagues at the end of a  no-confidence motion in parliament on Wednesday. Photograph: Emilio Naranjo/EPA

Podemos fails to gain parliamentary support for alternative government

Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration  in the Rif region in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday. Photograph: Reuters

Rif region demands social investment and release of demonstrators

A Catalonia independence supporter holds up a Catalan Estelada flag, with the date for the proposed independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Spanish government insists vote will not be allowed to take place

People use a Santander ATM as a man leaves a Banco Popular office in Barcelona. Photograph:  Albert Gea/Reuters

Bank’s shares have lost more than half their value over past week

Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos briefs media on Santander’s acquisition of Banco Popular for one euro to prevent its collapse. Photograph: Emilio Naranjo/EPA

Santander says it plans to raise about €7 billion of capital as part of transaction

Pablo Picasso’s Guernica:  Basque politicians want the painting moved to their region.

Picasso’s haunting artwork is the focus of special events at the Reina Sofía in Madrid

Policemen block far-right demonstrators protesting in front of Madrid City Hall against the presence of president of the Catalan government Carles Puigdemont. Photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty

Pro-independence regional government expected to announce date of vote soon

Pedro Sánchez applauds supporters at the PSOE headquarters in Madrid  after winning the race for the party’s leadership. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

New opposition leader eyes Rajoy’s minority government after primary win

Pedro Sánchez: recast himself as the standard-bearer of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party’s left wing. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

Divisive former party leader returns with radical agenda in tight primary contest

Elaine O’Donovan was an environmental engineer had an international career specialising in the provision of water and sanitation services in the developing world.

Holidaymaker Elaine O’Donovan died following swim at Playa Grande

El-Haqed, a young Moroccan rapper known for his anti-monarchy lyrics. Photographs: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Six years on from protests, inequality remains rife and freedom of speech is muzzled

The Valley of the Fallen. Republican prisoners, defeated by Franco’s troops in the 1936-39 civil war, built the dictator’s mausoleum, over which towers a 150m stone cross. Photograph: Getty Images

Spain's government is reluctant to act on historical memory issue despite pressure

Close shave: Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy at the 2017 Spanish national budget debate. Photograph: EPA/ZIPI

Opposition party Podemos demanding no-confidence vote against Mariano Rajoy

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

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