Elections under Covid

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Catalonia goes to the polls to choose a new government, while the country loses one of its most respected poets

1. The Socialists scored their first victory in a Catalan election, but pro-independence parties increased their overall majority. In an extremely tight race, the unionist Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) secured 33 seats, the same number as the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), only one seat ahead of JxCat, with 32 seats.
2. The Segarra-born poet Joan Margarit died of cancer in Sant Just Desvern aged 82. Margarit was one of the most revered contemporary Catalan poets and an architect by profession. He taught at Barcelona School of Architecture from 1968 until his retirement and was the recipient of the prestigious Cervantes Prize in 2019.
3. On February 18, Nasa’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars. Perseverance’s mission on Mars is based on astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will analyse the planet’s geology and past climate, helping to pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
4. The Institute of Theatre suspended theatre director and teacher, Joan Ollé, following allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of power by some 20 former students. An internal investigation was opened and the school’s management, including institute director, Magda Puyo, resigned a few days later.

Catalonia returns to the polls

February 14 saw elections in Catalonia to choose a new parliament and Catalan government, which will have the challenge of managing the ongoing health crisis, and resolving the independence process triggered by the October 1, 2017 referendum.

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