With thousands of homes still without power in various Costa Brava towns, the Catalan government and the electricity company Endesa have taken to pointing fingers at each other to assign blame for the ongoing crisis (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Endesa says that the power cuts would never have happened if the government had improved the electric infrastructure across Catalunya years ago, while the Generalitat accuses the electricity company of consistently not fulfilling its promises to re-establish full service and says it should take the blame for the continuing problems being experienced in 90 towns. The Generalitat has sent emergency teams, including police officers, firemen and members of the health services, to some of the most isolated places affected by the power cuts. The teams have gone from door to door in some housing developments to make checks on those who have had no electricity since Monday’s snow storm.
Spanish inflation fell to a rate of 0.8 percent in February thanks to a reduction in the price of petrol and food items, as well as the winter sales (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Índice de Precios al Consumo (IPC or Consumer Price Index) fell by two points compared to January acording to a report released today by the Spanish Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE)—it is the first month that inflation has shown a downward movement following four months of increase. One reason for this is that the price of petrol is holding steady compared to a rise in its cost in February 2009, while other important product groups have seen a drop in costs, including food and leisure, whose prices are at their lowest since 1994.
With the Ajuntament yet to release details of its two proposals for the future of Avinguda Diagonal, on which Barcelona residents will be able to vote in May, a group of local neighbourhood organisations has created its own version of how it would like the Diagonal to look (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The platform 'Diagonal per a Tothom' yesterday presented its proposal of five points that it regards as basically essential. The project includes plans to create a central lane accesible only to trams and large-capacity buses (Retbus, which measures 24 metres), with private vehicles confined to the lateral lanes and a bike lane provided on the northern side of the Diagonal. The platform also wants to see the pavements widened to provide more room for trees and space that favours the development of new businesses along the street.
Also in the news: Spanish author Miguel Delibes dies aged 89 (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Catalan singer Joan Manuel Serrat undergoes emergency operation for a lung tumour (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Al-Qaeda group claim that Catalan charity worker released because she converted to Islam (read full article in Catalan here, Avui)