The World Watches

  • The Fury of a Patient Man wins 31st Goya awards. Bayona took best director and eight other prizes for A monster calls. (Variety)

  • Artur Mas trial rallies separatists in Catalonia. Independence groups hope to draw a crowd of 30,000 when the trial begins on Monday. (Yahoo)

Spain & The World

  • Spain has 2,219 soldiers on foreign missions. New data from the Ministry of Defence describes mostly Army personnel posted to 15 locations abroad, on four continents. The detachment of 620 soldiers for the UN mission Lebanon is currently the largest Spanish operation. (La Razón)

  • March commemorates immigrant deaths in Spanish North Africa. 500 people assembled in memory of the 15 immigrants who died trying to get round the border fence into Ceuta in 2014. Those present protested against the "illegal" and "shameful" frontier fence. (El País)

Politics & Government

  • Podemos founder publishes brutal warning in op-ed. Founding senior member Luis Alegre blasted the current team around Pablo Iglesias, accusing them of being ready to destroy the party in order to hold on to their positions of power within the hierarchy. (El Diario)

  • New poll shows gains for the right. A GAD3 poll for ABC showed small gains for the Popular Party and Ciudadanos, enough to push them past an overall majority in Congress were a new general election to be called. (ABC)

  • Ciudadanos ditched social democracy from its political philosophy. Albert Rivera's party voted during its conference to hitch its values to "progressive liberalism". Mr. Rivera said he didn't believe the political centre in Spain "is socialist or conservative". (El Español)

Economy & Business

  • Electricity prices fall 15% after record high spell. Mariano Rajoy said they would go down when it rained, and he was right. Strong winds and rain have led to a greater availability of wind power, lowering wholesale energy prices, after record highs in January. (Europa Press)

  • Spanish banks charged €19.5 billion in commissions in 2016. Banco Santander led the pack with more than €10 billion, followed by BBVA with €4.7 billon and Caixabank with €2.1 billion. The total amount is almost exactly the same as 2015. (Expansión)

  • Gas prices rocketed 72% in Spain from 2010 to 2015. According to new European Commission figures. Prices in Spain rose most sharply compared to the other 27 member states. The government increased tax by 17.7% on gas over the period. (El Confidencial)

Other News

  • Spain held its version of the Oscars. Tarde para la ira was declared the best film, Robert Álamo the best actor and Emma Suárez the best actress. The Spanish Academy of Cinema's vice president complained the industry paid €105 million in VAT on €605 million in sales, but that it received €77 million in government grants. (Premios Goya)

  • Five people died in a car crash in Murcia. Four young men and one young woman were killed in a head-on, high-speed smash between two cars on a country road close to the town of Torre Pacheco (Murcia). Three other young women from one of the cars were rushed to hospital. (La Verdad)

Coming Up Next…

  • Government to discuss council funding. Deputy PM and Finance Minister will meet chairman of Spain's local councils federation on Monday.
  • Puppeteers to stream showing of play that landed them in jail. Puppet play and discussion on free speech will take place on Sunday evening.

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