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Good Sunday afternoon to you,

It has been a while since I’ve sent out the political update from Catalonia but I wanted to send one now for two reasons: 1) So many of you told me at the Forum Conference on Education Abroad last week how much you appreciate them and 2) Today has been a big day.

In addition to these newsletter updates, Barcelona SAE will host a free webinar on Friday, April 6th at 11:00am EST with one of our Political Science professors to cover:

  • Quick overview on the structure of Spanish government and how it differs from the US
  • How did we get to the political situation where we are now?
  • What’s happening right now in Catalonia? How has the day-to-day life changed (or not)? What are students experiencing on-site?
  • What are the possibilities for what could happen next?
  • Q and A from the audience

Use this link to register for the free webinar.

Today was a big day that brings with it some significant updates on the situation so I just sent out an email to all of our students, interns and on-site faculty leaders that I wanted to share with you as well.

Dear students, (I know some of your programs ended yesterday, and many of you are traveling for Semana Santa, but I wanted to keep you in the loop).

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend in Barcelona or wherever your travels have taken you. Below is some important information about the current political situation in Barcelona and Catalonia:

Arrest warrant for former Catalan leader

For those of you in Barcelona tonight, I wanted to let you know that there have been spontaneous protests on Las Ramblas, up Passeig de Gracia, and near the Spanish government delegation in the Eixample Derecha (Right Eixample) because the former Catalan President, Carlos Puigdemont, has been arrested.

Puigdemont had been in exile in Belgium and other European countries but the Spanish courts put out an official European warrant for his arrest for having led the process towards independence for Catalonia (something that is against the Spanish Constitution).

The demonstrators are protesting right now against the arrest of Puigdemont and a couple dozen other Catalan politicians who were also found guilty of “sedition” and rebellion and if found guilty could face up to 30 years in prison.

Protests in Barcelona

There is a good chance there will be more protests in the coming days so please follow the local news and be aware of your surroundings. While the protests have been mostly peaceful, they could flare up without warning so we recommend that all of our students stay away from any of these large gatherings. 

To keep up with this story in English, you can read more here. If you want to follow the minute-by-minute update in Spanish, you can find it here.

If you have ANY questions or concerns, do not hesitate to get in contact with me, your Barcleona mentor or any Barcelona staff.

Un saludo y hasta pronto,

Rich Kurtzman

Currently based in Barcelona, Rich grew up in the great city of Chicago but has been lucky to call Barcelona his home for over 15 years. His studies in Spanish and Russian Language and Culture led him on a path toward study abroad ever since high school. Starting with a summer in St. Petersburg, Russia then a semester in Madrid, Spain, there is no doubt that his study abroad experiences shaped his future. He later did an internship in Milan, Italy, led student groups through Spain, and volunteered in the Philippines. After earning his M.A. in Spanish Applied Linguistics, Rich taught Spanish History and Culture to study abroad students in Barcelona. Since 2002, Rich has organized and directed all aspects of study abroad in Barcelona. Rich regularly presents at International Education conferences on various topics and also works as an intercultural consultant for multinationals in Spain.