The children have left for
For Penedès the big news of the last few days is that we will become a new, eighth, infrastructure planning area (àmbit funcional, in Catalan) in Catalonia. Those who want to see Penedès as a future separate vegueria see this as a first step. However, it should be highlighted that vegueries like ours, which do not coincide with existing province boundaries, is one of the items which the Spanish Constitutional Court has ruled out when it recently - after four years of deliberations – made its conclusion on whether the Estatut - an Autonomy Charter for Catalonia - was in line with the Spanish Constitution.
Before leaving Penedès, let me mention that Gay Pride Sitges 2010 became the great success which the organizers had hoped for – 60.000 visitors and fully booked hotels. Moving further to Vilafranca del Penedès, I must express my enormous admiration for the Castellers de Vilafranca. Last weekend they easily assembled another three human towers of nine levels (taking them to the impressive figure of 400 castells de nou since the team was founded) and already has a secure lead in the ranking. Unfortunately, you will have to click more than once to find my own team (Bordegassos the Vilanova) in the same table.
The Barcelona Prat airport has been heavily affected by the Spanish air traffic controllers’ protest against cuts in their spectacularly high salaries. During the last week, more than half of them have "accidentally" fallen ill at the same time and that has caused major delays in the middle of peak season. Spanish Infrastructure Minister (Ministro de Fomento, in Spanish) José Blanco, now plans to train military air traffic controllers so that they can be mobilized if necessary.
The Tibidabo Amusement Park re-opened today, Wednesday. For several days, it has been closed for investigations into what went wrong when its big pendulum attraction collapsed and a 15-year-old was killed. Unfortunately, there are indications that technicians’ earlier warnings about serious flaws have been overlooked because they came when the summer season had already begun.
#Can_Barça (“Over at Barça’s place”)
Josep Guardiola (Pep) has signed a renewable one-year contract as coach of F.C. Barcelona. Critics of Sandro Rosell claim that this demonstrates the newly appointed president's poor negotiating skills, but Pep himself claims that he becomes more result oriented if the contract is short.
Brazilian Adriano Correia Claro has signed a four-year contract. Like his fellow countryman Dani Alves, he was bought over from Sevilla F.C.
To buy Cesc Fàbregas seems to be too expensive for Barça’s economy. However, one English newspaper claims that Arsenal needs an excuse to sell him and that a written declaration by Cesc about him wanting to change clubs, could speed up a deal.
As for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pep has said that a player on the Swede's level has to determine his own future.
The latest opion polls for the autumn elections to the Catalan Parliament confirms that there will be a change of government. CiU (= CDC + UDC) is now so strong that they might win a majority of their own.
CiU’s strong position and the upcoming elections have marked the debate on the future relationship between Catalonia and Spain which has followed on the Constitutional Court's rejections and reinterpretations of the Estatut.
This is an especially hard time for the socialists, PSC, which (together with ERC and ICV-EUiA represent the Tripartit), holds the government in Catalonia. They have burned a lot of energy during the lengthy Estatut process and are outraged with the Constitutional Court’s ruling. At the same time, they make up an integral part of the PSOE government on the Spanish level and have therefore decided to, in co-operation with Zapatero, find alternative ways to achieve the "spirit" of the Estatut.
For the other parties it is easier to take advantage of the Constitutional Court’s ruling:
PP in Catalonia are highly pleased since the outcome proves that the Estatut does not fit within the Spanish Constitution.
CiU stresses that, in the current situation, they do not want for Catalonia to become a sovereign state but will now seek new ways to achieve even greater autonomy than what was outlined in the Estatut .
ERC has announced that it obviously will not join a theoretical new Tripartit government since the independence of Catalonia will now be the party’s primary objective.
The joker in the deck, former Barça President Joan Laporta, some time ago registered an independentista-party called Democràcia Catalana, but yesterday, together with Alfons López-Tena (CDC) and Uriel Bertran (ERC), presented Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència as a coalition where they welcome all parties which want full sovereignty. The latter two are key people in the platform referenda on independence, which are still going on in the background of official politics and hope to find members within that movement, but also count on ERC, Joan Carretero’s new "Regrupament.cat" and the many sympathizers with the CUPs who usually avoid to vote in any elections above the municipal level.
In this context it should be mentioned that a recent opinion poll showed that 65.7% of the Catalans are either proud or very proud to be Spaniards.
The political situtationen in Catalonia has and will have repercussions in Spain. Yesterday, the PSOE government managed to pass its proposition on a budget cap for next year thanks to CiU, which abstained from the vote. Previously there used to be a rumor that Zapatero would initiate a more extensive cooperation with CiU when the latter had won coming elections in Catalonia, but the CiU Spokesman in Congress, Duran i Lleida, has recently declared that under no circumstances will his party give support the government's budget for next year. As a result, Zapatero has become increasingly anxious to win back the goodwill which he used to have, but has then lost, with PNV (the big Basque Nationalist Party).
Zapatero himself, finally, seems to have gone used to being squeezed from all sides. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" ("Cada día tiene su afán", in Spanish), was his ironical reply yesterday when a TV reporter wanted him to speculate about the future.
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This is a summary of news up to Tuesday, July 20. If there is anything you think that I have missed, please, leave a comment and, even better, include links. All news which fit into this context, will be presented in up-dates.
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Sources and Inspiration:
Avui/ElPunt: El Parlament reconeix l'àmbit funcional del Penedès
LaVanguardia: Cesc deberá pedir por carta su salida del Arsenal
LaVanguardia: Adriano: "No me pensé ni un segundo fichar por el Barça"
LaVanguardia: El PP ve "electoralista" la moción del PSOE del Estatut