Mariano Rajoy

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Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan regional police officers) keep protesters back from the entrance of the Lleida Museum after police entered the museum to take some 40 contested artworks. Photograph:  Albert Salame/Reuters

In recent days, visitors to Lleida Museum will have noticed, among the wealth of sculptures, paintings and ceramics, seven empty shelves. Each had hel(...)

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy delivers a speech during a visit to the Freixenet winery in Barcelona last Wednesday. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

On October 27th, as his government took the unprecedented move of introducing direct rule in Catalonia, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted: (...)

A man attends a concert organised by the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly to demand the release of jailed Catalan cabinet members, at Plaza Espanya square in Barcelona  on Sunday. Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

The campaign ahead of Catalonia’s December 21st election begins on Tuesday, with the pro-independence movement still bruised by its recent failed atte(...)

Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) party members unveil campaign posters featuring Catalonia’s ousted president Carles Puigdemont and arrested Catalan National Assembly (ANC) president Jordi Sanchez during a meeting to present the posters for the December 21st regional elections in Barcelona. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

It has seemed increasingly unlikely, since the Madrid government imposed direct rule on Catalonia a month ago, that Catalan independence leaders ever (...)

Paul Bekaert, the lawyer acting for  former  Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, speaks to media outside  a Belgian court in Brussels today. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

The lawyer acting for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has said the court hearing for his client and four secessionist allies on whether they s(...)

President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont and Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy. File photograph: Sergio Barrenechea/AFP/Getty Image

When Carles Pérez put in a prank call to Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy in January 2016, he did not expect to get through so easily. The present(...)

Demonstrators holding banners reading in Catalan “freedom for the political prisoners” as they gather outside the Palau Generalitat during a general strike in Barcelona on Wednesday. Photograph: Santi Palacios/AP

A general strike called by pro-independence campaigners in Catalonia closed shops and severed transport links on Wednesday, as the region’s deposed le(...)

Crowds near the Parc de la Ciutadella Barcelona after Catalonia declared independence on October 27th. Photograph: Dave Walsh

Catalonia is at a standstill on Wednesday after protesters blocked roads, highways and train tracks as part of a regionwide strike, called by a pro-in(...)

Supporters of  Catalan independence  during a  hearing regarding  dismissed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, outside the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont was spared custody on Monday, when a Brussels court ruled he could remain at liberty in Belgium until it (...)

Demonstrators hold banners that read in Catalan: “Freedom for the Political Prisoners”, at a protest against the decision  to jail ex-members of the Catalan government at University Square in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday.  Photograph: Manu Fernandez/AP Photo

A Belgian judge has granted conditional release to sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his ministers, and the group is scheduled to ap(...)

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