Madrid ready to halt referendum
The Generalitat may pass legislation today that sanctions the celebration of a referendum on self rule. If that is the case, prime minister Mariano Rajoy will convene a cabinet meeting and prepare to appeal the legislation in the Constitutional Court. The referendum has been set for November 9th. The Government insists that it is illegal and that it will take swift action against any attempts to break the law.
La Mercè kicks off today
Barcelona's six-day celebration of its patron saint starts today. This year's festival will include over 600 events, including plenty of live music, kids' activities, culture and traditions. See here for more.
First prize for Barcelona's social app
Barcelona has been awarded first prize among 150 cities for its new social app for vulnerable people who live alone. The Bloomberg Foundation award is worth five million euros, which will go to getting the app to the people who need it. The app, called Vincles, was designed by the Ajuntament, and allows vulnerable people who live alone to be connected to a network of health and social assistance as well as to family, friends and neighbours. Its simplicity means that people with very limited technological experience can easily use it.
Sagrada Familia residents protest against mass tourism
Over 200 people from the Sagrada Familia area took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against what they consider to be unsustainable mass tourism and the negative effects it has on the barrio, including the proliferation of tour buses, unlicensed tourist apartments and souvenir shops.
Ski slope for Zona Franca
Dutch company SnowWorld wants to build a 300-metre indoor ski slope in the Zona Franca. The project, which would cost 45 million euros, is supported by the Catalan Federation of Winter Sports, but doesn't yet have the green light from the Ajuntament.