The World Watches

  • British supermarkets ration lettuces after bad weather in Spain. Horrified Brits posting photos on Twitter of empty lettuce shelves. (BBC)

  • Should Spain have criticised Trump over Spanish at White House? Is Spain doing so well with its own multi-lingual state set up? (Forbes)

  • Investors less worried about Spanish and Irish bonds. Banking reform and GDP growth have lowered yields compared to Italy. (Bloomberg)

Spain & The World

  • Mariano Rajoy told Theresa May there'll be no bilateral Brexit deal. The Spanish Prime Minister said Spain would be sticking to the positions of the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. (El Mundo)

  • Gibraltar is out "the very moment" the UK leaves the EU. Rajoy said he hadn't spoken to Theresa May about Gibraltar but that his position was clear: as soon as the UK leaves, Gibraltar is also out.

  • PP to float the idea of a European Army at its party conference. Estéban González Pons, the party's spokesman in the European Parliament, has presented an amendment to the programme, arguing it would not represent a loss of sovereignty and would save billions in duplicate costs. (El Mundo)

  • Tourists spent €77 billion in Spain in 2016. That's a 9% increase compared to the previous year. Brits, Scandinavians and Germans spend most, and all spent more last year. Most tourists in Spain go to just four regions: Catalonia, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and Andalusia. (INE, pdf)

Politics & Government

  • Pedro Sánchez defended a "left-wing" Socialist Party. The ousted former secretary general, who is attempting a come back in the first half of 2017, said at a rally in Zaragoza (Aragón) that the current party administrators were leaving the party in "no man's land". (Europa Press)

  • Madrid repeats "dialogue within the law" on Catalonia. Amid renewed calls from the right to be more forceful in the application of the constitution, and as the country gets ready this week for the trial of Artur Mas over the 2014 referendum. The central government wants to avoid a repeat referendum organised by Mr. Mas's successor, Carles Puigdemont. (ABC)

  • Prosecutor wants PP illegal financing case reopened. Businessman Francisco Correa answered questions in court in October on how illicit funding schemes had worked behind the scenes. United Left had asked the judge to reopen the case against the PP after his statements. (El Diario)

Economy & Business

  • Vueling left 180 passengers stranded for four hours. The Civil Guard boarded the jet after passengers trying to travel between Barcelona and Marrakesh were left sitting on the tarmac with no proper explanation. The airline blamed bad weather in Northern Europe and the airport being reduced to using one runway. A flight to Paris was cancelled. (El País)

  • Finance Minister kicks 2017 budget into the summer. Faced with reports the PSOE's party conference and leadership race had already destroyed any chance of getting a new budget through a divided parliament this winter, Cristóbal Montoro said he would present a budget "in the next few weeks" and hoped it would pass "at the beginning of the summer" . (Expansión)

  • Government to force banks to offer free accounts. Spain wants its banks to make sure no one, including the homeless, asylum seekers and non-residents, is without access to basic current account operations, from cash withdrawals to transfers and card payments. (Cinco Días)

Other News

  • A father killed a 1-year old girl by jumping out of a hospital window. A 27-year old Chilean man jumped out of a fourth-floor window at the La Paz hospital in Madrid following an argument with the girl's Spanish mother, killing himself and their one-year old daughter. The man had a criminal record related to domestic violence in a previous relationship. The baby had just been released after heart treatment, having been born prematurely. (El Mundo)

  • 12 crew rescued alive from sinking fishing vessel. The Spanish Coastguard received a distress signal from the trawler Gure Uxua at 3:26 p.m.. Three helicopters and three lifeboats were launched in response. Several of the men were suffering from severe hypothermia and taken to hospitals in Galicia and Asturias. (The Spain Report)

Coming Up Next…

  • Ciudadanos party conference begins on Saturday. 600 members are set to decide on party strategy and ideology for the next four years.
  • Podemos begins campaign over new political strategy and leaders. Pablo Iglesias is framing it as a choice between him and Iñigo Errejón.
  • Goya cinema prizes to be awarded on Saturday night. Spain's version of the Oscars always includes some political snark during the speeches.