Saturday, 30 May 2009

Penedès News in English

Local news from Vilanova i la Geltrú, Sitges and the rest of the Gran Penedès.

Gran Penedès

The farmers' union Unió de Pagesos warns that, this year, there will be a poor wine harvest in the Denominació d’Origen (D.O.) Penedès but that, in spite of this, there will be a surplus of grapes since the wineries experience drops in demand.

The parliament of Catalonia has approved a proposition by Joan Raventós (CiU) that the xarel·lo – a kind of grape with its origins in the Penedès and Alella – gets a special focus in future strategic plans for the D.O. Penedès.


Josep Lluís Giménez Sevilla, the general director of Aucat (the Abertis group) admits that the discounts available to daily commuters on the highway C-32 (connecting Garraf to Barcelona) are not enough promoted. Those who have the payment device Via-T and, between Monday and Friday, pass the Vallcarca toll station eight times or more, receive close to a 50% price reduction.

At a ceremony in Sitges, the Diputació de Barcelona selected Ràdio Cubelles (Cubelles) and its program Barreja’t amb mi as the best radio show in towns with less than 15.000 inhabitants and Canal Blau (Vilanova) and its Leit Nait Shou the best TV program in towns with more than 50.000 people. Jordi Baijet (PSC), mayor of Sitges, took the opportunity to pay homage to 88 year old Josep Soler who for more than 50 years has headed up the local newspaper Eco de Sitges (Sitges).

The many road works in the centre of Vilanova i la Geltrú will continue throughout the peak tourism season since they need to be finalized before December 31, 2009. If not, the Spanish government will have the right to retain 30% of the funds committed as of Zapatero’s Plan E, the purpose of which is to boost employment.

The labour department of the Generalitat of Catalonia has not accepted the filing for a work force reduction (ERO - expedient de regulació d’ocupacio) by Prysmian of Vilanova. Allegedly, the plans presented by the company do not justify laying of 22 workers too young for early retirement.

A public auditory for up to 400 people will be built at the plaça de la Moixiganga of Vilanova, in connection with the Music Conservatory Mestre Montserrat. The works will start this autumn and are to be completed early 2011.

Near the Camping Vilanova Platja, the company Diver Sabio wants to construct what they call an educational amusement park for children from five to twelve years old. The ajuntament has requested a financial viability study of the project.

Environmentally and quality minded people might want to try La Salseta (C/ Sant Pau) in Sitges. This restaurant, by brothers Valentí and Toni Mongay, is being operated according to the rules of Quilomètre Zero de Slow Food a Espanya, which determines that a high degree of the ingredients must come from local farms or, at least, be classified as ecologic produce.

After eight months of remodelation works, the beach Sant Sebastià, Sitges, will re-open on June 20. The parking lots have been replaced by a wide pedestrian area and all restaurants will have brown parasols and awnings in order to create a unified image in line with the landscape.

Alt Penedès

The new local government of Vilafranca del Penedès under Pere Regull (CiU), warns that its first municipal budget, to be presented June 16, will be austere. It will not take into account revenue from municipal land yet to be sold, something it accuses the former PSC government to have done for the last five years.

The Diputació of Barcelona has approved investments of € 1.100.000 in Gelida, with the objective to improve road access to the residential areas Martivell and el Puig i la Valenciana.

The ajuntament of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia has started a campaign to remind dog owners of their responsibilities to keep their pets leashed and that not collecting their excrements can result in fines up to € 500. May all Catalan towns immediately do the same.

Although there are 1.050 FC Barcelona fan clubs in the world, so far Vilafranca has not had any. Already before have the culers of the town gathered at Cal Figarot, the premises of the Castellers de Vilafranca to enjoy Barça games together, but since May 20, the Penya Barcelonista Castellers de Vilafranca is an officially recognised fan club and open to anyone interested.

Baix Penedès

In June, the construction works of a public Primary Care Centre (CAPCentre d’Atenció primaria) will start in the area la Plana of Cunit.

The ajuntament of el Vendrell and local companies have set up the network Xarxa Emprenedora in order to foster the creation of more businesses and facilitate points of contact for new entrepreneurs.

L’Arboç will be the first town in the whole of Spain to offer public wifi-coverage throughout the municipality.

Being a Swede, I am proud to recognise the yellow battery from IKEA in the Festa Major poster of el Vendrell 2009. The designer Francesc Trillo’s message is for people to participate in this festivity to the point of “wearing it out” (“esgota la”).


In Igualada there seem to be a complete disagreement among local politicians about to which future vegueria the current capital of Anoia is to belong. The latest official plan puts it in the vegueria Catalunya Central, but about a year ago a local majority signed it up to the project of a separate vegueria Penedès. This week, however, PSC and ICV decided to benefit from the absence of one ERC candidate and vote through that the town ought to belong to the vegueria de Barcelona. On the other hand, CiU of Igualada has decided to bet on two horses at the same time: the party line is to support the vegueria Penedès but at the same time they demand for the vegueria Central to locate more of its public offices (delegacions) in Igualada.

A development centre for children with special needs and up to six years old has been opened by the ajuntament of Masquefa in co-operation with the NGO Apinas (Associació de pares igualadins de nens i adolescents subdotats).

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Penedès News in English is a personal compilation of facts from the digital news services Vilanova Digital, Sitgesblog, Penedès Digital, the pdf-version of l’Extra plus the print versions of the Diari de Vilanova and 7 Dies. All opinions expressed are my own.

Earlier editions can be found under the label Penedès News.

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Technorati tags: Barcelona, Barça, Catalonia, CiU, Cunit, Festa Major, Garraf, Igualada, Penedès, PSC, Sant Sadurní, Sitges, Spain, el Vendrell, Vilafranca, Vilanova

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