Friday, 24 September 2010

From a Vilanova Perspective

Vilanova i la Geltru - Garraf - Penedès

Catalonia's Health Minister (Consellera de Salut) Marina Geli has announced that new primary care centres (CAP) in Ribes and Canyelles, and an the expansion of the one in Roquetes are priorities in Garraf, while a new hospital in Vilanova i la Geltrú and a second CAP in Sitges are of secondary importance.

September 17-26, Sitges celebrates Festa Major de Santa Tecla.

The population of Garraf and Alt Penedès continued to grow in 2009 although the number of job opportunities fell by 40%. The unemployment rate in these comarques now stands at 14-15%.

To anticipate the coming Catalan election campaign, the Institut d'Estudis Penedesencs will organize theme days about vegueria Penedès; October 1 in Vilafranca del Penedès, October 2 in Vilanova i la Geltrú and October 8-9 in Vendrell.

In cooperation with, there will be a new online magazine called focusing on business, entrepreneurship and social networks.

Barcelona and the Metropolitan Area

September 23-26, Barcelona celebrates Festa Major de la Mercé. A well elaborated program in English is being offered as a pdf-file.

Barcelona has requested for the Spanish Infrastructure Ministry (Ministerio de Fomento) not to approve preferential contracts for low-cost airlines at Barcelona Airport (Prat), since that would reduce the potential for the city to become an international hub.

From November, traffic on the Barcelona Airport will no longer fly over Castelldefels and Gavà during night time.

November 7, the Pope will consecrate la Sagrada Familia. Those who live around the cathedral now earn some extra money by letting visitors reserve seats on their balconies.

Barcelona has approved for the operator of the rental bike service Bicing to wait until the coming legislature to change its informatics systems, since the change might result in inconveniencies for the users. During a sunny day, some 40.000 Bicing trips are recorded.

The Spanish Infrastructure Ministry has promised that the new rail link Castelldefels-Cornellà will be built as a subway along the entire route. When it is finished, it will link southern Baix Llobregat with the University Area of Barcelona, via Esplugues.


September 17-26, Tarragona celebrates Festa Major de Santa Tecla.

With a view to the September 29 General Strike, the Generalitat has per decree demanded a 25% rush hour service level for the commuter trains (Rodalies and FGC), and also that emergency rooms function as usual and that schools keep some staff to take care of the children who turn up.

The average apartment rent in Catalonia was, in August, 5.2% lower than one year ago. Catalonia, after Euskadi (Basque Country) and Madrid, still has the third most expensive square meter rents in Spain. Measured by provincia, Barcelona is the third most expensive area after Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa.

Aranese has been accepted as the third official language of Catalonia and will have a preferential status in Val d'Aran. This is actually only a dialect of occitan which was historically spoken throughout southern France, but what makes aranese unique is that it has survived as an actively used language.

Via the public company Avançsa, the Generalitat enters as a partner of IEASA, which in turn owns 80.1% of Spanair. The remaining 19.9% are still owned by Scandinavian Airlines.

The Catalan Parliament has by a large majority passed a law regulating the bull festivals, correbous, which are a tradition in some parts of southern Catalonia. Only ICV-EUiA voted against it, with the argument that this cruelty to animals should be banned.

The platform Ciutadans pel Canvi (CPC), established in 1999 to support Pasqual Maragall’s election campaign, will stop its election co-operation with PSC. PSC hopes that some of CPC's current five MPs will join their campaign on an individual basis.

F.C. Barcelona

For the first time in three years, FC Barcelona has won a Liga match in Atlético Madrid’s home arena Vicente Calderón. The end result was 1-2 and Barça’s goals were made by Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué.

Tomas Ujfalusi from Atlético Madrid will be suspended for two matches due to his last minute attack on Messi. The Barça player did not suffer any bone injuries but a sprain, and therefore misses the matches against Sporting Gijón and Athletic, plus, possibly, the Champions' League away match against Rubin Kazan.

In the match against Sporting, Barça had a hard to find the rhythm, but eventually won 1-0. The goal was made by David Villa who immediately apologised to the Gijón fans, since he is originally from there.

In an article where the debt situation of all Liga clubs' can be found, economist José María Gay de Liébana highlights that Barça, despite its successes in recent years, generates less income than Real Madrid.

Andrés Iniesta will become a father early next year. The news was confirmed by the player himself but was first announced by his grandfather.


The Basque Nationalist Party PNV will support PSOE in the vote on the 2011 state budget. In return, government resources for active labour market policies in Euskadi will be transferred to the region, instead of being managed by the state.

The latest sale of government bonds is by the Financial Times interpreted as a signal of confidence in the Spanish economy. The interest rate gap versus German bonds is now in line with that of Italy, and notably smaller than those Portugal and Ireland.

For transports where the state is responsible, Infrastructure Minister José Blanco has concluded agreements with the trade unions regarding minimum services during the September 29 General Strike. Of the AVE trains, 20% will leave on schedule. In the airline industry, the corresponding figures are 25% for flights within the mainland and 50% for flights to and from the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla.

Tourism in Spain is strengthening its position. Measured by the number of visitors, Spain in the third place in an international perspective and in the second according to total revenue. In 2009, the average tourist here spent Euro 1.018, a figure beaten only by the USA, Germany and Great Britain.

For the first time in history, in July, real estate amortization payments were higher than the amount of new loans. The balance of -1.1% can be compared with annual volume increases of 20% during the years of the Spanish property boom.

According to the 2011 state budget which PSOE will propose, personal income tax (IRPF) will increase from 43% to 45% for those earning more than 120.000 Euro/year.

The price which households and small businesses pay for electricity will rise by 4.8% from October 1.

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This news summary covers the period from my last text of this series until Thursday September 23. 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 to fit into this context will be added as up-dates.

Find here an overview of the Catalan political parties and their equivalents on the Spanish level.

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Vilanova i la Geltrú - Garraf - Penedès

DiariDeVilanova: Els ambulatoris, prioritaris El Garraf i l'Alt Penedès no paren de créixer, tot i l'atur S'estén socialment el debat sobre el futur del Penedès Avui, taula rodona sobre les oportunitats d'Internet amb Xavi Berneda, Ricard Espelt i Genís Roca

Barcelona and its Metropolitan Area Barcelona pide a Fomento que no favorezca el 'low cost' en El Prat Els avions de l'aeroport no sobrevolaran Gavà ni Castelldefels durant la nit Vecinos de la Sagrada Familia ponen sus balcones en alquiler para la visita del Papa Barcelona desiste de actualizar en este mandato el sistema informático del Bicing Foment es compromet a fer subterrània tota la línia Cornellà-Castelldefels

Catalonia Los servicios mínimos en Catalunya permitirán que circule el 25% del transporte público en hora punta L'excés d'oferta rebaixa el preu dels lloguers un 5,2% El aranés se convierte en la tercera lengua oficial de Catalunya La Generalitat formalitza la seva entrada a Spanair El Parlament blinda los 'correbous' meses después de prohibir las corridas de toros El PSC y Ciutadans pel Canvi no repetirán como coalición electoral

F.C. Barcelona El Barça vence al Atlético de Madrid y rompe el maleficio del Calderón Messi sufre un esguince de tobillo y se perderá dos partidos de Liga El Comité de Competición sanciona con dos partidos a Ujfalusi por su entrada a Messi 1-0: El Barça gana por la mínima al Sporting gracias a Villa José Mª Gay: "Pese a los éxitos deportivos, el Barça ingresa menos que el Madrid" Andrés Iniesta espera un hijo

Spain PSOE y PNV cierran el traspaso de las políticas activas de empleo, paso previo para negociar los PGE Bond sale affirms investors’ faith in Spain Blanco ve histórico que la del 29-S sea la primera huelga con servicios mínimos de transporte pactados España coloca su turismo entre
los más rentables del mundo La actividad hipotecaria cae en julio por primera vez en la historia El Gobierno estudia un nuevo tramo en el IRPF para rentas a partir de 120.000 euros El recibo de la luz subirá un 4,8% en octubre para hogares y pymes

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