Radical environmentalists destroy a corn field in error, believing it to be a GM crop (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The attackers thought that is was an experimental crop using new types of genetically modified seeds. A group of several environmentalists arrived at the field on Monday, thinking it was a site using transgenic seeds, however it was in fact modified corn for growing for commercial uses, similar to most fields in most of the other agricultural areas of Catalunya. Abdon Blay, the owner of the farm, situated in the Torroella de Montgrí was picking peaches when a neighbour called him and said "Did you see what has happened to your field? They thought that it could have been boars. Blay's harvest is all but destroyed leaving him with a €4,500 bill to pay. Blay had been negotiating with the multinational company Syngenta, which specialises in research of genetically modified seeds, to test in the plot. In January an agreement was reached but then things halted, Syngenta then said it had decided not to proceed. In addition the Generalitat claimed that they were not allowed to plant in that field because it was very close to an area of protected land. The plot was on the list of test sites in Spain that the ministry of Environment provided to the environmental organisation Friends of the Earth in May, which posted it on their website. It is thought that a radical group then used the information to locate these sites. Alongside Blay's field, they are being held responsible for damage done to another plot in Zaragoza. Blay was due to harvest 17 tons of corn from his field in September. "I tried to sell it to someone who had cows, but there is no way, everything is flattened." Blay is also unhappy with the reaction of the Mossos d'Esquadra and the agricultural department, who knew in advance that the radical activists were working in the area. A spokesperson for the department said "A collective sent some leaflets and warned the Mossos." The regional police have since been forced to admit that they knew the young men were in Girona since July 6th, but claim they did not know they were to destroy the field. The Mossos, have several suspected groups, including the French group Mundo Solidario, Segadores Voluntarios (Volunteer Reapers). Esteban Alcalde, head of the Biotechnology Regulatory Affairs at the Syngenta company, who have given legal support to Blay said, "We feared this would happen and it has. So far the ministry have not even given a full list." Friends of the Earth have said that they do not regret posting the information.
Organisers of the Gràcia festival are furthering their attempt to change the focus of the festival to a more family-friendly event, with more activities scheduled for during the day (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The gradual shift towards a more daytime celebration has been gradual but was deemed successful last year, with 2009, the only year where the festival was marked with no major incident between police and youths. This year, there will be more cleaning services, more limits on noise levels and more control over closing times. As in 2009, Sunday to Thursday it will 2am and on Friday and Saturday 3.30am. In the squares of Diamant, Revolució and El Sol, partying will only be authorised until 1am. Around 450,000 people attend the weekend part of the festival and 200,00 during the week. This year there is to be 70 percent more events during the day, with around 700 activities planned for before night fall. This however, has not meant that the number of night time activities has been reduced. However, concerts at night will have their noise levels capped at 5 instead of 10 and devises that were tested last year reported around 50 percent less noise, without affecting the quality of the sound.
José Montilla has asked for the reform of the Constitution to restore the confidence is Spain and lamented both the "hostility of the minority" (PP) and the "indifference of the majority (PSOE) over the situation in Catalunya (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Montilla called for the reformation of the Constitution to recuperate the confidence Catalunya has in Spain. The PSC leader recalled that the Estatut should not be a "concession of Spain" and that state institutions should give an appropriate response. Montilla stressed the importance of "respect" in the relationship between Spain and Catalunya and that "the relationship should not be based on compromise and agreement." Montilla stated that he was surprised by both the "hostility and animosity of a noise minority" and the "indifference of the majority." The president, for his part expressed his regret that the Catalans are condemned by the rulings of the statute to live in "a chronic complaint, and to live in the framework of the State that has an inferior position." Montilla has requested his partners in the tripartite government and the CiU to establish a "shared road map" which defines the Catalan strategy in order to agree on the Estatut and how to recover the aspects of amended by the TC ruling. The PSC leader went on to say that there was leeway to find a common denominator of interests and said "We can not lower our aspirations to be recognised as a nation."