Rambla animal stalls
More than 450 flights to and from Spain were cancelled yesterday due to the cloud of volcanic ash moving across northern Europe (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Already today, 24 flights have been cancelled from Barcelona’s El Prat airport and it’s probable that more will be affected as the day goes on. Hundreds of passengers have been left stranded at El Prat, as well as Girona, Reus and Madrid, amongst other airports, as they tried to fly to the UK, Ireland, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Belgium, Holland and France; 216 arrivals and 250 departures were cancelled in total. The different airlines affected, including British Airways, Iberia, Ryanair and Easyjet, provided different solutions to their clients including refunds, changes to destinations and accommodation in local hotels until a confirmed flight was available, which in some cases was not expected to be until the start of next week.
La Rambla is due to see all of its animal stalls disappear by the summer, after the single authorised vendor allowed to continue his business said that it would be impossible for him to meet all the legal requirements regarding the conditions of the stall (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). In the agreement signed at the end of last year between the city council and those who currently have businesses selling animals on the upper section of the Rambla, José Ángel Cuenca was given the right to maintain his licence if he installed a larger establishment of 40 square metres. However, yesterday Cuenca told the city’s Markets Institute and Ciutat Vella council that he wouldn’t be able to do so. Explaining the situation to La Vanguardia, Cuenca said there had been technical and commercial difficulties that made it impossible for him to take up the option. Currently, Cuenca owns five of the stands currently selling animals on the Rambla and the idea behind letting him run the single authorised stand once the others disappear was in recognition of the role of the stands as part of the city’s history. “I’ve worked for 42 years on the pajarerías (lit. bird stalls) of the Rambla and I wanted to continue, but in the end, it wasn’t viable,” said Cuenca, who admitted that he was disappointed by the way the matter had turned out.
The Spanish government has told the mayor of Catalan town Vic to stop getting tangled up in the issue of immigrants without legal residency papers (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The national minister for Employment and Immigration, Celestino Corbacho, made the plea yesterday, speaking on the subject during which he made five different requests to Josep Maria Vila d’Abadal to end his interventions regarding those immigrants who register with the council but don’t have the official paperwork for living in Spain [it is not necessary to have legal residency in Spain to be registered on the local census]. In recent times Vila d’Abadal has tried to refuse the right of such immigrants to register and has said that the council will report to the police anyone who does so without Spanish residency. Corbacho said that the mayor was afraid that the xenophobic party led by Josep Anglada, Plataforma per Catalunya, would exploit immigration issues in the town to “take part of his electoral space”. He added that mayors had to comply with the law and to “deny registration to immigrants who were in an ‘irregular situation’ was illegal.” The minister was supported in his call by the new Spanish secretary of state for immigration, Anna Terron, who called on the Vic politician to put an end to the “ceremony of confusion” that she says has been created by his proposals.
Also in the news: Baltasar Garzón denies receiving payment from Banco Santander for New York courses (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Barcelona council’s support service to help prostitutes has seen only 15 women leave the streets in 18 months (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Head of ETA’s lawyers arrested in France (read full article in Catalan here, Avui).