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Citizens (Spanish political party)

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Title: Citizens (Spanish political party)  
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Subject: Opinion polling for the Spanish municipal elections, 2015, European Parliament election, 2014 (Spain), Catalonian parliamentary election, 2006, Castile-La Mancha parliamentary election, 2015, Albert Rivera
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Citizens (Spanish political party)

President Albert Rivera
Secretary-General Matías Alonso Ruiz
Founded 7 June 2005 (CC)
4 March 2006 (C's)
Headquarters Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 751 A, 1º 2ª
08013 Barcelona
Youth wing Agrupación de Jóvenes de Ciudadanos – J's
Membership  (2015) 25,290[1]
Ideology Liberalism[2]
Social democracy[3][4]
European federalism[8]
Political position Center-left[12][13][14][15][16][17] to Center-right[18][19][20][21][22]
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colours      Orange (#EB6109)[23]
Congress of Deputies
0 / 350
2 / 266
European Parliament
2 / 54
Regional Parliaments
91 / 1,248
Local Government
1,527 / 67,611
Politics of Spain
Political parties
Politics of Catalonia
Political parties

Citizens (Spanish: Ciudadanos ; Catalan: Ciutadans ; Basque: Hiritarrak; Galician: Cidadáns; shortened as C’s), officially Citizens – Party of the Citizenry,[24] is a political party in Spain which is described by itself and some observers as center-left and non-nationalist, although others have described it as center-right. Citizens presents itself as a party which offers a mix of social democracy and progressive liberal positions on its platform.[25]

It is mainly active in Catalonia, where it has twenty five deputies in the Parliament of Catalonia. It aims to defend the use of Spanish[26] and opposes Catalan nationalism. The leader of the party uses the phrase: "Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and the European Union is our future" to outline the party's ideology.


  • Ideology 1
  • History 2
  • Policies 3
  • Political background 4
  • Support, membership and organisation 5
  • Controversies 6
    • Relations with the media 6.1
    • European election internal disputes 6.2
    • Other 6.3
  • Election results 7
    • Congress of Deputies / Senate 7.1
    • European Parliament 7.2
    • Local councils 7.3
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11


Ideologically, C's describes itself as a progressive,[27] secular, constitutionalist,[27] European federalist and postnationalist[28] party. In addition, Albert Rivera has said that C's defends autonomism[29]

According to its declared identity signs, C's advocates four basic lines of action:

  1. Defense of individual rights.
  2. Defense of social rights as well as the welfare state.
  3. Uphold the State of Autonomies and Europe's unity.
  4. Regeneration of democracy and of political life.


Ciutadans was formed in Catalonia in July 2006 in response to the call made in a manifesto by a group of well-known figures in Catalonian civic society (among them Albert Boadella, Félix de Azúa and Arcadi Espada), in which they called for a new political force to "address the real problems faced by the general public". In this manifesto, they also warned that "the rhetoric of hatred promulgated by official Catalan government media against everything 'Spanish' is more alarming than ever" and that "the (Catalan) nation, promoted as an homogenous entity, has taken over the space where an undeniably diverse society lived".[30]

This group of personalities, almost entirely based in Albert Rivera, was elected president.

In the 2006 elections for the Parliament of Catalonia, C’s won 3% of the votes and returned 3 MPs. Four years later, in 2010, a similar result was achieved (3.4%, 3 MPs). Mainly as a counter to the growing public support for independence in Catalonia, C’s – as one of the most outspoken opponents of this movement - has since further grown substantially in support. In the 2012 snap elections the number of votes more than doubled (7.6%, 9 MPs). All but one of these seats were in the Province of Barcelona. As of March 2015 almost all surveys predict a further growth in the upcoming 2015 Catalan Elections and opinion polls even showed them to be the third largest party.

In 2013, the party started organising in the rest of Spain with a manifesto called "La conjura de Goya" (The Confederacy of Goya) that took place in the Congress Palace of Madrid.

In the 2014 European elections the party received 3.16% of the national vote, and elected 2 MEPs.[31] Both MEPs joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group.


The C's have outlined some policies for the 2015 general election. So far, these include the following.

  • Lowering corporation tax to 25%, inline with many other European countries.[32]
  • Lower and harmonise VAT to a rate between 16% and 19%.
  • Capping the top-rate of income tax at 40%.
  • Increase R&D spending to 3% of GDP.
  • Abolish or merge municipalities with a population less than 5,000.
  • Reducing bureaucracy and red tape.
  • More transparent party funding.
  • Crackdown on corruption.
  • Reform or abolish the Senate.[33]
  • Earned income tax credit to fight in-work poverty.
  • "Austrian Backpack" transferable unemployment compensation.
  • Devolving training to the citizens from employers associations and trade unions, known to have misused formation funds.
  • Easing immigration policies to attract talent and investors.
  • Legalizing prostitution and marijuana.

Political background

Albert Rivera, president of the party

C's is mostly considered a liberal party both in economic policies and social issues, however its political discourse is mainly centered around opposition to Catalan nationalism,[34] to the extent that it has been frequently criticised for being a single issue party, a label rejected by its members. In the period 2006-2012, the number of C's voters who had voted for center-right parties in previous elections was similar to the number who had previously voted for center-left parties, suggesting that the party's positions on general economic and social issues are not its main draw.[35] C's criticise any sort of nationalism, "including the Spanish nationalism that Mr. Ynestrillas defends".[36]

One of the main issues raised by the party is the Catalan [39]

Other topics include a thorough reform of [40] It proposes a review and a recalculation of the Basque Quota and the Navarrese Contribution in order to stop the Basque Country and Navarre being "net beneficiaries".[41]

Among other policies, they also support a regulation of prostitution, marijuana and euthanasia.

Support, membership and organisation

C's is currently only a political force at regional level. In the 2008 National Elections, it gained 0.18% of the Spanish vote: in Catalonia, its support was somewhat higher – 0.74% of votes – but significantly smaller than the percentage obtained in the 2006 and 2010 Catalan Regional Elections; (3.04%) and (3.4%) respectively.

C's draws most of its support from the Barcelona metropolitan area. In the 2010 regional elections, the party gained more than 4% in the counties (comarques) of Barcelonès, Baix Llobregat, Vallès Occidental and Tarragonès. Everywhere else, it remained under 4%, with the worst results in the provinces of Girona (1.69%) and Lleida (1.79%). Only in the Province of Barcelona did C's receive more than 3% of the vote, which is the threshold for parliamentary representation.


C's has been identified as having a populist platform, e.g. by Catalan nationalists such as the expert on far-right movements, Xavier Casals.[42][43] In spite of its efforts to identify its core ideology as progressive, its campaign videos feature notorious right-leaning socialites, journalists and television personalities.[44] One of these is known for having voiced extremely xenophobic views[45] as well as displayed sexist and violent behaviour[46][47][48][49] on television. More recently, another member was expelled after allegedly making xenophobic and anti-Catalan comments on Twitter.[50]

In January 2014, the Catalan Supreme Court of Justice (es) (TSJC) probed C's Parliament member Jordi Cañas on account of fraud amounting to €429,203.[51] Cañas abandoned his party spokesman position [52] and announced he would resign his seat in the Parliament if he were formally indicted.[53]

During the 2006 election campaign, the party's president Albert Rivera appeared completely naked in a poster in order to attract publicity to the party.[54][55]

In 2006, the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya revealed that Rivera was a member of the conservative People's Party (PP) between 2002 and 2006, and that he had quit PP just three months before running for election for the Citizen's Party; this was corroborated by El Mundo and El País[56][57] Despite these revelations, however, Rivera still denied having been a full member of the party [58] Past PP membership is by no means a minor affair in C's; former PSC activist Juan Carlos Girauta, who left the Socialists for a stint in PP[59] and a prolonged commitment (1000+ articles[60]) to conservative journalism from his Libertad Digital column up until his very public falling out with César Vidal, became a Citizens member and a candidate in the 2014 European Election.[61]

The party's association with Declan Ganley's Libertas platform raised some concern on account of the coalition formed by the latter with nationalist and ultra-nationalist parties in each of its local European chapters, seemingly at odds with the professed ideology of C's.[62][63][64]

Relations with the media

The party frequently complains about an alleged boycott on the part of Catalan media, especially public television: in their opinion, the party is given too little airtime to present its views on public television.[65] They have also criticised the Catalan press for similar reasons, especially the Spanish-language Catalan newspapers La Vanguardia and El Periódico de Catalunya. On the other hand, its opponents and critics frequently point out the disproportionately high coverage of Ciutadans by the Spanish national media, especially the Madrid-based Libertad Digital, El Mundo, Telemadrid, and ABC.

European election internal disputes

In 2009 it was announced that C's would run for the European Election allied with the Libertas coalition.

According to some members of C's, the negotiations prior to this electoral pact were led personally and secretly by the party leader, Albert Rivera. This alienated the other two MPs (besides Rivera himself) and a significant part of the party from his leadership.[66] In turn, the official stance of C's is that the critics are acting more as a fifth column of the ideologically similar Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD),[67] all resulting in a major crisis within the party.

Several intellectuals that had participated in the formation of Ciutadans later withdrew their support. Albert Boadella, for example, became one of the co-founders of the Union, Progress and Democracy party led by former Basque Socialist politician Rosa Diez.


Prominent meetings of the party have been reportedly picketed by Catalan separatist groups on several occasions.[68] Its leader Albert Rivera has received anonymous death threats urging him to quit politics. Two members of the ERC Youth were sentenced to prison for it.[69][70][71][72][73]

Election results

Congress of Deputies / Senate

Election Congress of Deputies Senate Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Seats won +/−
2008 46,313 0.2% New
0 / 350
0 / 208
±0 #13 No seats Albert Rivera
0 / 350
0 / 208
TBD To be determined Albert Rivera

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Candidate
2009A 22,903 0.1% New
0 / 54
±0 #11 Miguel Durán
2014 497,146 3.2% 3.1
2 / 54
2 #8 Javier Nart

A Contested as Libertas Spain.

Local councils

Local councils
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
2007 67,298 0.3% New
13 / 66,131
13 #17 Albert Rivera
2011 35,060 0.2% 0.1
7 / 68,230
6 #23 Albert Rivera
2015 1,467,663 6.6% 6.4
1,527 / 67,611
1,520 #3 Albert Rivera

See also


  1. ^ "Citizens tenfolds the number of members in two years; with 20,300 it triples UPyD" (in Spanish). Voz Pópuli. 2015-03-31. 
  2. ^ [4]
  3. ^ Ramón Rallo, Juan (24 April 2015). "¿Ciudadanos liberales? (III)". Vozpópuli. Retrieved 28 May 2015. Como ya sucediera con el mercado laboral o con las políticas de crecimiento económico, la difusión del programa fiscal de Ciudadanos constata, nuevamente, que no nos hallamos ante un partido liberal, sino ante una formación socialdemócrata que aspira a conseguir una reordenación “sensata” del entramado burocrático e intervencionista actual pero sin reducirlo lo más mínimo 
  4. ^ O'Leary, Elisabeth (8 February 2015). "Spain's Podemos leads poll but may have peaked - El Pais". Reuters. Retrieved 12 April 2015. Ciudadanos (Citizens), social democrats who defend national unity and have drawn voters on the left and right disenchanted with corruption in politics, saw a 4 percentage point rise to 12.2 percent 
  5. ^ «and has a left-liberal, secularist slant» - Demsoc Europe
  6. ^ Auzias & Labourdette 2014, p. 31: «Enfin, Ciutadans (C's), avec 9 députés au parlement, s'oppose aux nationalistes et défend le modèle de l'Etat des autonomies».
  7. ^ (Spanish) Directo de los resultados de las elecciones catalanas 2012 - Público
  8. ^ Citizens – Party of the Citizenship (C’s) - Demsoc Europe
  9. ^ López Basaguren & Escajedo San Epifanio 2013, p. 871: «This paper has presented a multistage model of voting for nationalist parties, as well as for the nonnationalist Ciutadans-Partit de la Ciutadania»
  10. ^ (Spanish) Ciutadans renuncia a las generales tras el 'no' de UPyD a concurrir en coalición - El Mundo
  11. ^ (Spanish) Albert Rivera o el acoso a un no nacionalista en el Parlamento autonómico de Cataluña - Periodista Digital
  12. ^ Delgado Ramos, David (2011). "Elecciones al Parlament 2010: fin de ciclo en Cataluña" (pdf). Revista de Derecho Político (in Spanish) (UNED) 80. Retrieved 28 May 2015. El incremento se produjo a costa del PSC, donde en algunos de sus tradicionales «feudos» su electorado optó por votar a Ciutadans como opción «españolista» y de centro-izquierda más adecuada para no votar a su otra opción, el Partido Popular, más alejada ideológicamente de sus postulados. 
  13. ^ Gutiérrez Díez, José Manuel (January 2014). "A case of misreckoning: the Catalonian election of 2012" (pdf). BORDA: Working Papers (University of Salamanca). Retrieved 8 August 2015. C’s (Ciudadanos). Catalan party (in practice), without reference in Spain. Centre-left 
  14. ^ Catalan vote sends mixed messages - Economist Intelligence Unit
  15. ^ Díez, Anabel (9 February 2015). "Latest poll shows support for new party Podemos leveling out".  
  16. ^ (Spanish) «C's Ciudadanos Centro-izquierda», Ayuntamiento de Barcelona
  17. ^ Ciutadans ja es veu amb grup parlamentari propi al nou Parlament - Directe!cat
  18. ^ Medda-Windischer & Carlà 2015, p. 178: «It should be said that not all political parties and social entities signed the Agreement: the People's Party (center-right) and Ciutadans (center-right, recently-created pro-Spanish party in the Catalan Parliament) rejected the Agreement on the basis that it had been conceived in a clearly nationalist fashion, whereas the NGO SOS-Racisme and the Trade Union Comissions Obreres considered the document not progressive enough».
  19. ^ [5]
  20. ^ After Syriza: What’s next for Spain?, Eastminster
  21. ^ Protesters march against austerity measures in Madrid, The Guardian
  22. ^ Buck, Tobias (24 February 2015). "Rajoy promises jobs and growth as fringe parties gain ground".  
  23. ^ Manual de Identidad Corporativa
  24. ^ "CATALONIA / E". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 13 August 2015. Ciutadans – Partido de la Ciudadanía (C's): Centrism 
  25. ^ "Albert Rivera, la cara visible de Ciutadans". laSexta. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2015. Somos un partido de tradición socialdemócrata y liberal-progresista 
  26. ^ Susan J. Henders (2 March 2010). Territoriality, Asymmetry, and Autonomy: Catalonia, Corsica, Hong Kong, and Tibet. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 267–.  
  27. ^ a b (Spanish) «C's es un partido progresista y constitucionalista», El País
  28. ^ (Spanish) «Somos postnacionalistas y no queremos luchar contra un nacionalismo con otro. Vamos sin banderas, casi desnudos, abriendo camino sin fronteras desde la Constitución», C's
  29. ^ Rivera: “Hemos visto documentos que demuestran que CiU se ha estado llevando una parte de las comisiones de obras en Cataluña”, Crónica Global
  30. ^ Manifesto signed by some intellectuals which preceded the formation of the party
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Ciudadanos". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Ciudadanos". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Pro-Spain Ciutadans group demands Mas step down as regional premier".  
  35. ^ Lluís Orriols (13 August 2013). "Ciutadans, ¿un partido de izquierdas o de derechas?" (in Spanish).  
  36. ^ (Spanish) [6], Diario Crítico
  37. ^ """City Council of Barcelona: "Catalan will continue to be the Council's working language. City Council of Barcelona. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  38. ^ a b """Albert Rivera, Ciutadans candidate: "An independent Catalonia would fail (in Spanish).  
  39. ^ "Ciudadanos - Modelo de estado". Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  40. ^ (Spanish) Futuro incierto en País Vasco y Navarra para Podemos, UPyD y Ciudadanos: ¿quitarán los fueros? - Vozpópuli
  41. ^ (Spanish) Ciutadans propone revisar el cupo vasco y navarro reformando la Constitución - Lainformació
  42. ^ "EL POPULISMO QUE VIENE (49): EL OASIS CATALÁN YA ES EL OASIS POPULISTA". Blog de Xavier Casals. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Bloc de la qualitat democràtica » Catalunya, el laboratori populista d’Espanya, per Xavier Casals". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  44. ^ "L'exconcursant de 'Gran Hermano' Carlos 'El Yoyas' dóna suport a Ciutadans en un vídeo electoral". 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  45. ^ "Carlos Navarro (El Yoyas) y la inmigración (Completo) - Catalunya Opina 14/11/11 [HD 1080p". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  46. ^ "El Yoyas le pega a un invitado con un microfono.". YouTube. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  47. ^ "Carlos el yoyas". YouTube. 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  48. ^ "a ver si me habla que le voy a pegar dos yoyas.00.avi". YouTube. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  49. ^ "Abandona 'Gran Hermano' el concursante violento que motivó las quejas de partidos y asociaciones | Sociedad | EL PAÍS". Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  50. ^ "Ciudadanos expulsa a un afiliado de Madrid por comentarios xenófobos". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  51. ^ "El TSJ catalán investiga a Jordi Cañas (C's) por supuesto fraude a Hacienda". 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  52. ^ "Jordi Cañas renuncia a ser portavoz parlamentario de Ciutadans mientras le investiguen | Cataluña | EL MUNDO". Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  53. ^ El diputado de C's Jordi Cañas renunciará a su escaño si es acusado de fraude fiscal - lainformació
  54. ^ "Desnudo para presidir la Generalitat | Actualidad | EL PAÍS". 2006-09-16. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  55. ^ "El partido Ciutadans de Catalunya presenta desnudo a su candidato a las autonómicas". Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  56. ^ Mundinteractivos. "Albert Rivera estuvo afiliado en el PP hasta tres meses antes de presidir Ciutadans". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  57. ^ El presidente de Ciutadans militó en el PP hasta abril de 2006" (The president of Ciutadans was a PP member until April 2006)""". Retrieved 2006-11-23. 
  58. ^ "Ciutadans - Partido de la CiudadanÃa - Comunicats". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  59. ^ "Untitled Document". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  60. ^ " La Hora de Todos: Juan Carlos Girauta se explica". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  61. ^ abc. "Nart, Girauta y Punset, candidatos de Ciudadanos a las elecciones europeas". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  62. ^ "Albert Rivera acusa a Robles y Domingo de buscar el fracaso de Ciutadans | Barcelona". Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  63. ^ "Dos de los tres diputados de Ciutadans se unen para destronar a Rivera | Actualidad | EL PAÍS". 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  64. ^ "Miguel Durán, cabeza de lista de la coalición Ciudadanos-Libertas". Libertad Digital. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  65. ^ "El CAC pide que se regule la publicidad institucional | Edición impresa | EL PAÍS". 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  66. ^ "Dos de los tres diputados de Ciutadans se unen para destronar a Rivera | Actualidad | EL PAÍS". 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  67. ^ "Ciutadans acusa a Rosa Díez de azuzar la revuelta contra Rivera | Edición impresa | EL PAÍS". 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  68. ^ "Agreden al periodista Arcadi Espada en un acto de Ciutadans de Catalunya en Girona contra el Estatut". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  69. ^ 20Minutos. """El presidente de Ciutadans, amenazado de muerte por "luchar contra el nacionalismo. - Últimas Noticias. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  70. ^ "Orbyt - El Mundo". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  71. ^ Ediciones El País. "El presidente de Ciutadans denuncia haber recibido amenazas de muerte". EL PAÍS. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  72. ^ Albert Rivera denuncia amenazas de muerte para que deje su política "contra el nacionalismo"- – Noticias, actualidad, última hora en Cataluña y España
  73. ^ Europa Press (June 16, 2009). "Los acusados de amenazar a Rivera aceptan un año y diez meses de cárcel". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 


  • López Basaguren, Alberto; Escajedo San Epifanio, Leire (2013), The Ways of Federalism in Western Countries and the Horizons of Territorial Autonomy in Spain: Volume 2, Springer Science & Business Media, 924,  
  • Auzias, Dominique; Labourdette, Jean-Paul (2014), Barcelone 2014 Petit Futé (avec cartes, photos + avis des lecteurs) (in Français), Petit Futé, 340,  
  • Medda-Windischer, Roberta; Carlà, Andrea (2015), Migration and Autonomous Territories: The Case of South Tyrol and Catalonia, Hotei Publishing, 308,  

External links

  • Ciutadans – Partido de la Ciutadania's web site
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