United in (some) Diversity

Antoni Torras i Estruch's picture

2012, probably not the end of the world outside Europe. After these doomed years of Icelandic ash, Greek tragedies, Spanish influenza and what-have-you; amid desperate efforts to save the Euro from this kulturkampf-reloaded now involving the whole subcontinent... A sensible observer would see the language regime of the European Union (EU) neither as a matter of top concern nor as the source of its biggest problems. Yet a certain degree of nuance would do our observer no harm. United in Diversity, the unborn Constitution’s unwanted motto for 'Europe'. Just how diverse, though?

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Brand image

Vicenç Villatoro's picture

Before I can explain how the Ramon Llull Institute helps project Catalan culture abroad as well as our goals for the future, there are a few things I would like to share with you. First, the individual success of a Catalan artist or creator in any field of culture helps to forge a positive brand image for the whole of Catalan culture. Second, a positive brand image for Catalan culture adds value and gives greater visibility to each of the artists within this culture.

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A running company creates jobs

Joaquim Gay de Montellà's picture

...an out-of-business company doesn’t create any

Catalonia’s labour relations framework needed to become closer to European standards: we understand that the recently approved reform takes us in the right direction. For Catalonia, the context for optimal business activity is a strong, leading, and solvent Europe, and the past few years have shown us that better coordination and greater unity of action is needed. Because we share a market and a currency, we consider it obvious that the distance between the different fiscal and labour treatments in place in the different member states and regions must be shortened. The Spanish Government’s labour reform, already in force, points in that direction: it levels us with European standards.

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Spain, a testing ground

Josep Maria Àlvarez's picture

Greece, Portugal and Ireland have been the first countries to yield to the tight rules of this new Europe that, if François Hollande does not avoid it, moves in the opposite direction than that of its history’s evolution until the end of the Second World War. Those countries, despite their political importance within the context of a European Union that is splitting up, are not the economic size of Spain or Italy. They have therefore been the easiest deadweight to be let go.

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A reform needed to compete in Europe

Josep González's picture

Just four months ago, the new Government took office with a sword of Damocles hanging over its head: the responsibility to adopt the right measures to overturn our labour market’s critical situation. Up until now, it appeared that it was not enough having 400 companies going out of business everyday over the last three years, reaching an absolute unemployment record or returning to the situation of an economic recession. The Labour Reform was one of the most awaited measures and it had the entire country with their fingers crossed in order to see that for once the Government had carried out the right changes within our labour market and provided the tools to make the continuity of our business projects viable.

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Labour reform or greed’s voracious and unfair irrationality

Joan Carles Gallego's picture

The much announced labour reform, which breaks the labour relation rules of the game, has invaded (via the use of political power) the natural framework of conflict resolution in the corporate and labour world between businessmen and workers, between business-owner associations and trade unions. Everything is an attack on democratic proceedings: it neither respects information and previous consultation rights with representative unions, which is guaranteed by law in relation to social policy issues

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Spain’s Deficit Targets For 2012

Edward Hugh's picture

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

Things in Spain are never exactly what they seem to be. This is a painful lesson that even Angela Merkel must have learnt in recent days, especially since she put her credibility so much on the line in backing the country’s deficit reduction efforts. “Spain has really done its homework and I think it is on the right track,” is the message she has been trying to sell to the world. Finding out that the Spanish deficit was not the 6% of GDP she had been promised, but a minimum of 8.2% in 2011 cannot have been a pleasant experience for her.

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The dividend of cooperation

Fèlix Riera's picture

Being in a deep economic crisis, which has already gripped us for three years, means that we must reflect on how to fight its effects, but first we have to take note of the following: there is no margin left to reduce costs further in order to compensate the 15% drop in cultural consumption; the price of cultural services has decreased by 1.3% and turnover has dropped by 7.2%; and, funding lines are becoming increasingly more elusive for companies, both private and public corporations.

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Human rights for all

Eulàlia d'Ortadó's picture

On December 10th we commemorated the 63rd anniversary of the approval by the General Assembly of the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[1]. As we celebrated the Human Rights Day and the immense triumph of the international community we need to closely read the text and remember the fundamental freedoms enshrined in it, which each human being without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language or religion, is entitled to.

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The City doesn’t trust Merkozy’s Europe

Robert Casajuana's picture

I was on my way to my office in the City of London last Friday morning when I realised that Cameron had taken a big decision in Europe. When you are dealing on a trading desk you try to guess the effect of these political decisions on the financial assets more directly related to it and affected by it. And believe me, in the last couple of years this has been a constant challenge for us bond traders.

Cameron’s was a big move, a big decision, a brave answer to Europe or a cowardly one depending on the point of view taken.

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