I have started to practice human pillars with the Bordegassos de Vilanova, with the objective to build a pillar out in the streets during the up-coming Festa Major. During training, I have already been the second person in a pillar of four levels.
Last Thursday night, I visited the garden of the Victor Balaguer Museum where you could listen to chill-out music and have a drink. A different way to promote a cultural institution.
Last Sunday evening, the Bordegassos built human towers in the Rambla (Festa Major, de Centre Vila): Torre de 6, 4de7, 5de6 net, 3de7 and pilar de 5 - all crowned and disassembled on the first attempt.
Our Festa Major will be celebrated from July 30 to August 6. More information can be found on the web page and (possibly) via twitter.
Saturday July 31, at 19:00 we will build human towers (castells) in plaça de la Vila. The local team Bordegassos will be accompanied by the Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls and the Colla Jove dels Xiquets de Tarragona.
The unemployment rate in the comarca Garraf dropped below 15% in June.
Lluís Barrera, ex-leader of the castellers team Xicots the Vilafranca (Alt Penedès) has died after a collision between his motorcycle and a car. Barrera was only 27 years old.
The castellers team Nens del Vendrell has, for the first time in 33 years, crowned and disassembled a 4de8.
During the days July 25-28 el Vendrell (Baix Penedès) celebrates its Festa Major. Here is the program as a PDF file.
The matches Barça-Real Madrid (el Clásico, in Spanish) will be played November 28 in Nou Camp and April 17 in Santiago Bernabeu.
Jose Mourinho has expressed his interest in seeing Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing for Real Madrid. The two know each other from Inter Milan.
Thierry Henry has begun to play for the New York Red Bulls and rumour has it that Rafa Marquez will go to the same club.
Florentino Pérez, the president of Real Madrid, is trying to persuade Cesc Fàbregas to come to the club. Barça, for its part, says that the coming week is crucial for reaching an agreement with Arsenal.
The Spanish PSOE government has issued a decree which prohibits the public sector from taking on more debt. Jordi Hereu (PSC), Mayor of Barcelona, has won the support of the opposition and will request for the Constitutional Court to rule whether the decree is consistent with the Spanish constitution.
During the days July 26 – August 1 the European Championships of Athletics are organized here, with the Lluís Companys stadium (Montjuïc) as the a natural centre.
The anti-corruption authority Oficina Antifrau can neither confirm nor rule out that the party CDC has received funds in an illegal manner. It is documented that the construction company Ferrovial supported the Palau de Música with 12 million Euros during the years 1997-2009 and that this cultural institution – in those days headed by the now confessed criminals Felix Millet and Jordi Montull – sent money to the foundation CatDem (then called Trías Fargas). That foundation is close to CDC, but it can not be proved that any funds were channelled into the party, nor that Ferrovial won the contracts to build Ciutat de la Justicia and the subway line L9 thanks to this.
The Tripartit-Government (PSC, ICV-EUiA and ERC) will request for the investigation into the financing of CDC to be taken over by a prosecutor because they see a cause-effect link between the money which Ferrovial paid to Palau de la Música and the contracts which the then ruling CiU government granted them.
The Spanish Congress could not vote through a common reaction to the changes which the Spanish Constitutional Court has made in the Catalan autonomy charter Estatut. In the Catalan Parliament, four parties, including PSC, had voted agreed on a proposal which included parts of the Estatut-text. When PSOE did not support that version but suggested an alternative, PSC chose to vote with the PSOE, while ICV-EUiA abstained and CiU and ERC voted against.
ERC was disturbed by PSC's action in the Spanish parliament and declared that the Catalan Tripartit-government - of which PSC and ERC are both members - is now reduced to an interim solution until the elections.
The Catalan elections this autumn will be totally dominated by the relationship between Catalonia and Spain. This is not appreciated by PSC which prefers a classic righ-left debate. The party is bracing itself for losing a large part of its current seats in the parliament and it seems that it is the catalanist wing of the PSC which will be moved away from the electable list positions.
Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (PSOE) has visited Barcelona with the aim to curb the irritation caused by the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Estatut. Together with the Catalan President Jose Montilla (PSC), he stressed that he does not share the Court's view, nor the political consequences which it may have, but that it is his task to manage the situation. As a solution, he proposes a Spain with federal features, which he hopes will be endorsed by Catalan CiU and Basque PNV. Already now does he exclude ERC, since that party now focuses on making Catalonia a sovereign state.
The Spanish defense minister Carme Chacón and ex-Prime Minister Felipe González, in an article suggest that the friction between Catalonia and Spain is due to, on the one hand, PP which refuses to admit that Spain is made up of several nations and, on the other hand, Catalan independence supporters who do not recognize that Catalonia now has a far-reaching autonomy compared with other European "nations without a state".
In response to above article, Artur Mas (CiU) points out that José Montilla (PSC) is a weak leader and that PSC during the last two parliamentary terms has formed up Tripartit-government with the hitherto only party (ERC) advocating full independence for Catalonia. Joan Ridao (ERC) questions how Carme Chacón can continue to defend an Estatut which, according to him, has breen turned into papier-mâché by the Spanish Constitutional Court.
For cost-cutting reasons, the Spanish Government will annul or postpone some infrastructure investments. Catalonia is the autonomous region which will be hit the hardest: the rail link to Terminal 1 at Barcelona airport and a number of motorway constructions will be affected.
Spanish Infrastructure Minister (Fomento, in Spanish) José Blanco, defended this decision, pointing out that the investment in Catalonia will only be reduced by 13%, while it would have been 18% if the cutbacks were made proportionally. He admits that Spanish governments have historically invested less in Catalonia than should have been the case bearing in mind the region's GDP, but says that the backlog is due to other ministries and not his.
To save money, the PSOE-government has decided to merge the Secretary of Tourism with its counterpart for Retail. The tourism sector - Spain's leading industry - criticizes the decision.
Of the banks which failed in the EU's stress test, five of seven come from Spain. Of these, two are from Catalonia; Diada (= Caixa Catalunya, Caixa Tarragona and Caixa Manresa) and Unnim (= Caixa Sabadell, Caixa Terrassa and Caixa Manlleu). The Spanish central bank, however, interpret the results in a positive way. Firstly, the Spanish test is based on a much bigger real estate price drop (55% for office space and 23% for housing) than the other countries. Secondly, Spain included 95% of the banking sector in the test, while the average for other EU countries was 60%. In the third place, the Spanish banking sector has so far received less support than has been the case elsewhere, and the government is now prepared to come in if it it turns out that the private market will not do so. Finally, the Spanish banks provided full information about government bonds issued by other EU countries - a transparency which most German banks have chosen to avoid.
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The summary covers the period until Monday July 26. If there are news which you think that I have missed, I ask you to leave a comment and, even better, include links. All news that I consider fit into this context will be added as up-dates.
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Sources and inspiration:
Diari de Vilanova: L’atur torna a baixar al juny i es queda per sota del 15%
ElMundoDeportivo: El Real Madrid quiere torpedear el fichaje de Cesc por el Barça
ElMundoDeportivo: ¡Mourinho quiere llevarse a Ibrahimovic del Barça al Real Madrid!
ElMundoDeportivo: Llega la hora de Barcelona 2010
LaVanguardia: El Tripartit se situa en el tiempo de descuento
ElPaís: Apuntes sobre Cataluña y España
The Economist: Partial Stress Relief