Our most-read articles of 2017

From the Catalan crisis to card sharks, here are this year’s highlights from the EL PAÍS English Edition

With the Catalan independence push, anti-tourism protests and the terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Spain dominated international headlines this year. EL PAÍS English Edition was there to cover these events and many more, providing in-depth analysis on events that changed the country forever.

Demonstrators attend a rally in favour of a unified Spain.
Demonstrators attend a rally in favour of a unified Spain.Reuters

Here are our top-10 most-read stories of 2017.

1. What is really happening in Catalonia?

The Catalan independence push led to an escalating political saga that is yet to come to an end. In this opinion piece, EL PAÍS managing editor David Alandete argues the leaders of the pro-independence movement left the referendum in the hands of the general population, meaning voters had to face the police response alone.

10. In Francoland

With the Catalan crisis as the backdrop, Spanish writer Antonio Muñoz Molina explains that Europe and the US love what they see as Spain’s quaint backwardness so much that they feel insulted when we explain to them how much we have changed.

2. Is Catalonia independent?

Our second-most read story this year examined the question many people were asking in the days after the Catalan regional parliament passed a unilateral declaration of independence on October 27.

3. ISIS claims responsibility for Barcelona terror attack that killed at least 13 people

More than 100 people were injured in the worst jihadist assault in Spain since the Madrid bombings of 2004.

4. 16 unwritten rules of living in a Spanish village

Among the big news stories, there is always room to learn more about how to live in Spain's unique villages. There are no fines for disobeying these norms but failure to comply definitely won’t go unnoticed.

5. The Spanish connection with Trump’s Russia scandal

As the world took a closer look at Trump's dealings with Russia, an unexpected Spanish link appeared – Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia who was investigated in Spain for money laundering and infiltrated the US president’s circle.

6. The rise and fall of Mallorca’s nightlife king

For 40 years Tolo Cursach ruled the holiday island’s night scene. But in March he was arrested and taken into custody accused of 16 different offenses. A born card shark, he found that this time, the odds were stacked against him.

7. Pope Francis: “The danger is that in times of crisis we look for a savior”

On Donald Trump, the Pontiff says: “I don’t like to get ahead of myself. It would be like prophets predicting calamities or windfalls that will not come to pass.”

8. More work but less money: Spain’s new salary trap

Spain's economy may be on the road to recovery, but while job creation is up many positions are temporary and part-time.

9. Why Spain’s brothels are filling up with 20-year-old johns

Visiting prostitutes has become increasingly common for 20-year-old Spaniards who rarely question whether the women are victims of human trafficking.

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