Sunday, 7 June 2009

Penedès News in English

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

Gran Penedès

Penedesfera – the blogger network of the Penedès region– recently listed its 500th member blog and is nowadays the biggest network of its kind in Catalonia.

The print newspapers of the Penedès see falling revenues from advertising but some of them can at least celebrate that their number of readers are growing. El Diari de Vilanova is Catalonia’s biggest weekly newspaper in Catalan (45.000 readers/week) and Tres de Vuit of Vilafranca is number two (31.000 readers/week).

ADEG – the Penedès business association (Associació d’Empresaris del Garraf i el Penedès) - has created a new section for young entrepreneurs. Joves d’Empresa is its name and since it has been born in times of crisis it will focus on so called 'Low Cost Networking'.

Some 3.000 people whose special needs renders them the right to assistance at home will receive a better service. The Diputació de Barcelona has decided to allocate one support car to Vilafranca, from where it will cover the comarques Alt Penedès and Garraf.


The Metropolitan area of Barcelona investigates building a major waste incinerator at Vallcarca. The Ajuntament of Sitges disagrees with these plans, not only since they come as a surprise, but also because of the consequences they would have on the natural reserve Parc del Garraf.

To guarantee the future of the two big social clubs of Sitges - la Societat Recreativa El Retiro and el Casino Prado - the Ajuntament has decided to grant them direct financial support of € 10.000 plus (a lot more) for the cultural activities they carry out.

The ecologic supermarket chain Veritas has opened up a branch at the Passeig de Vilafranca of Sitges.

The forum Cercle d’Economia (the Circle of Economy) will keeps its annual meetings in Sitges for at least another three years. This years’ edition could present José Montilla, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, among the speakers.

During weekends and holidays from May 30 until September 11, Renfe will increase the number of trains to the beach destinations Garraf and Platja de Castelldefels. During peak hours there will be one connection every 30 minutes.

The hospital Sant Camil of Sant Pere de Ribes has started the construction works of a new parking area for 400 cars. During the summer the same hospital will temporarily close two of its floors, but that will not have unforeseen effects on service levels since the number of programmed interventions always go down during the vacation period.

During the celebrations of FC Barcelona’s victory of the Champion’s League, 28-year old Óscar Alpuente from Cubelles was hit by a rubber bullet, which caused serious damage to one of his eyes. His relatives’ claim that the police shot from a too short distance and above the waistline contradicts the findings of the investigation by the Generalitat de Catalunya, which concluded that the police acted as of protocol.

The Ajuntament of Vilanova i la Geltrú takes the help school pupils in the fight against the mosquit tigre (‘tigre mosquito’). Avoiding accumulations of standing water in balconies and gardens has proved a successful way to limit the spread of its eggs.

Vilanova does from now on have a 24 hour taxi service (telephone: 93 893 32 41).

Vilanova currently promotes Attic’09 – the International Fair of New Ideas and Inventions – at the shopping centre l’Illa in Barcelona through a machine which promises to deliver “ideas which make you smile” to anyone who inserts € 0,50.

The Vilanova based company Megarubber, which let 51 of its workers leave permanently as late as February this year, has presented a temporary work stop affecting 127 workers during 120 days.

The situation at the Vilanova company Prysmian, which last week learnt that the Generalitat would not approve its plans for a work force reduction (ERO), has responded by firing 19 employees without negotiations, although that means that they will have to pay them a full indemnification. The trade unions, in return, claim that this is illegal and workers on strike are therefore blocking all entrances to the company.

Alt Penedès

The wine Sant Valentí by wine producer Miguel Torres of Vilafranca del Penedès can again be sold in Norway. With sales of 200.000 bottles per year, this is one of the most popular white wines in that country, but the sales of it was recently stopped after one person was seriously sick after drinking it. However, Norwegian police has been able to confirm that the wine was poisoned and is confident to have found the perpetrator.

After a meeting with ADIF, the two socialist members of the parliament of Catalonia Daniel Fernández and Sixte Moral, claim that the company responsible for railway infrastructure will repair all cracks which the construction of a railway tunnel under the town might have caused in Vilafranca.

Sociologist Llorenç Casanova (29) has accepted the duty to be the second local councillor of the political party CUP in Vilafranca. He replaces Otger Amatller who has stepped down for family reasons.

Baix Penedès

Starting in September, the renovation works of the theatre in El Vendrell, la Lira vendrellenca, will enter into into their final phase.

The Ajuntament of Calafell will allow the Generalitat to use two antennas – one located on the mountain Bellamar and the other one in the centre of Segur de Calafell – in order to improve the mobile phone and digital TV coverage.


The Catalan minister of internal affairs (Conseller d’Interior) Joan Saura (ICV-EUiA) has officially declared the extended firestation of Igualada open. Just in time for the peak season of forest fires, eight new fire trucks have been added.

The public healthcare of Igualada takes part in a pilot project with electronic prescriptions, in which patients do not have to bring signed paper copies to the pharmacy since all authorizations are available on-line.

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Penedès News in English is a compilation of local news, above all aimed for the expats living in this region but, possibly, also interesting for tourists. My main sources of information are Vilanova Digital, Sitgesblog, Penedès Digital, the pdf-version of l’Extra plus the print versions of the Diari de Vilanova. All opinions expressed are my own.

Earlier editions can be found under the label Penedès News.

An introduction into the political party system of Catalonia can be found here.

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Technorati tags: Barcelona, Barça, Calafell, Catalonia, Expat, Garraf, Igualada, Penedès, Penedesfera, PSC, Sant Sadurní, Sitges, el Vendrell, Vilafranca, Vilanova

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