Pa Negre'Pa Negre' was a hit Catalan film last year—the local film sector is due to benefit from a rise in the number of movies shown in Catalan from 2012.
An agreement has been reached between the main Hollywood and other film distributors and the Generalitat regarding the number of films that will be dubbed into Catalan (read article in Catalan here, El Punt-Avui). "From 2012, we will see a notable increase in the number of US films screened in Catalan in cinemas here," said the Generalitat's conseller of culture, Ferran Mascarell yesterday afternoon. He was speaking with Camilo Tarrazón, president of the Gremi d'Empresaris de Cinemes de Catalunya and Luis Hernández de Carlos, president of Fedicine, the federation that represents the interests of the major Hollywood and other distributors. The three men had just signed an agreement regarding the quantity of movies to be subtitled and dubbed into Catalan, and comes after a tense relationship with the previous government when Joan Manuel Tresserras was conseller of culture [a law was passed by the Generalitat seeking 50 percent of Hollywood releases to be available in Catalan]. As a result, it is forecast that next year, just in the 496 cinemas managed by the Gremi d'Empresaris de Catalunya (there are 700 in total) there will be a rise from the 117,471 spectators for cinema in Catalan that there were in 2010 to 1.5 million; this signifies an increase in the market quota from less than one percent to seven percent. The agreement states that the number of US blockbusters to be dubbed will rise from five to 25, and there will be an increase in the number of copies of films in Catalan provided, rising from 15 to 25 per film—this means that the number of annual screenings in Catalan will go up from 4,299 to 55,000. If the films that have Catalan as their original language, those of independent distributors and the market quota that Fedicine and the Gremi already have, are all combined, then films in Catalan should reach a market share of 11 percent next year.
With bullfighting officially ended in Catalunya, animal rights' activists fighting for an end to the mistreatment of bulls are now turning their attention to correbous, events that take place mainly in the region of Tarragona that see fireworks tied to the horns of young bulls during local festivities (read article in Castilian here, El Periódico). The first step in their campaign has been taken with the associations Anima Naturalis, Pacma and Actyma having prepared (and in some cases, already presented) a series of formal complaints against seven towns in the Ebro area for the alleged non-compliance with the law that regulates this type of fiesta. Anti-bullfighting supporters admit that the complaints—which are being processed through the civil route to various relevant administrations—are part of a strategy of 'attrition' against the correbous (literally 'running bullocks' in Catalan) to undermine their standing. "Our next objective is the abolition of the correbous, but a 'popular legislative initiative' (ILP—which was used to bring the bullfighting issue before the Catalan parliament, leading to its eventual outlawing) is not the best formula in this case, in contrast with what happened with the corridas," said Elena Allué, the Catalan head of the animal rights' party Pacma. Allué reckons that in the case of correbous, a strong attack like an ILP could be counter-productive. "We are aware that to try to achieve a ban would provoke a lot of rejections, because it's a reality that is as terrible as it is deep-seated," she added. In addition, said Aïda Gascón of Anima Naturalis, "an ILP would quickly fail in the parliament because some parties are not yet brave enough to dare to at least abolish the most aggressive elements... Sooner or later, they'll finish." For the time being, the best strategy, according to those who are against the correbous, is "to raise citizens' awareness, by demonstrating and bringing complaints about the irregularities that occur," said Elena Allué.
The Institut Català del Salut (ICS), the biggest public health organisation in Catalunya with 80,000 employees in eight hospitals covering 80 percent of primary health care, has put forward a new money-saving proposal with a plan to reduce the traditional Christmas bonus (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). This comes on the heels of an idea suggested last weekend that would have seen thousands of health employees earning around €1,000 less this year, although the Christmas bonus plan would supplant that proposal. Comments such as "not serious"and "improvisation" were the response from trade unions that represent ICS workers (CCOO, UGT, Sindicat de Metges, Satse and Catac) to the new spending cut. Of the €46 million (at least) that has to be cut from the health department budget by the end of the year, €25 million could be saved from the Christmas bonus through a reduction of part of the payment ('destino'), that is paid to all staff. According to the calculations, doctors will lose around €874, nurses €710, hospital porters €423 and bosses, €1,248. The other €21 million to be cut will come from delaying payments to duty staff and other elements in the salaries of doctors.