Two officers from the Catalan police force have been injured during a shooting incident in Carrer Aragón that took place just before midnight on yesterday evening (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The Mossos were shot when they responded to a call at number 429 in Aragón, between Sardenya and Marina, close to the Avinguda Diagonal—neighbours had reported hearing cries and a lot of noise coming from a first-floor apartment that they said was being used as a brothel. However, when the police tried to enter the building, they were shot at by up to two people; the injured police officers are said to now be out of danger. In response to the incident, a large number of agents, and a police helicopter, were deployed to the area to try and find those responsible, so far, without success and the search area has been widened. They have not commented on reports that the criminals are Rumanian thieves who intentionally target brothels.
Yesterday’s meeting between representatives from various Spanish political parties regarding what action to take to deal with the economic crisis was unable to come to any meaningful conclusions (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The commission was made up of members of the Socialist government, the opposition Partido Popular (PP) party and other parties with seats in the Spanish parliament. Reports of inflexibility on the part of those taking part and a lack of precision in the document produced by the government for the meeting, sent out only 12 hours before it started, contributed to the lack of progress in discussions between attendees. Furthermore, the PP took the opportunity to criticise Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero for allegedly looking to take electoral advantage from the gathering, while the Spanish Finance vice-president Elena Salgado spoke at the post-meeting press conference of a possible policy that she hadn’t brought up during the proceedings. While Salgado said the meeting had been “useful”, the PP economic spokesman, Cristóbal Montoro, said that he “didn’t understand anything.”
A spokesman for Spain’s bishops says that they have no opinion on whether King Juan Carlos I should sanction the new abortion law, which was passed yesterday by the Senate (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The auxiliary bishop of Madrid, Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, said yesterday that the Conference Episcopal Española (CEE), for which he is spokesman, said they would not be issuing any statement on the matter. The bishops’ representative was also asked about the threatened excommunication of those Catholic politicians who had voted in favour of the new law, including the president of the Congress, Socialist José Bono. Martínez Camino denied that these excommunication sanctions existed and commented that the king was in a “unique” position. An online petition campaign, organised by the Catholic portal religionenlibertad through the website www.majestadnofirme.com, has sought to gather signatures to persuade the king not to sign the law. The CEE strongly opposes the new abortion law and has said that it is an attack on the life of those who are going to be born and “a serious retreat” in the protection of life as well as an abandonment of mothers-to-be. The new law sets a minimum age of 16 for girls to decide whether to have an abortion without parental consent and allows for abortions up to 14 weeks. Yesterday saw a rejection of the veto brought against the law by the PP and UPN parties by 134 votes against and 126 who voted in favour of the veto. Another proposed veto was defeated by 132 against to 128 in favour.
Also in the news: Electronics shops report sharp rise in sales of digital tv sets in advance of analogue switch-off (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Barça’s basketball team triumph over current champion Panathinaikos in Euroleague (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Joan Laporta due to ‘start’ his political career on Monday (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia)