In the first half of this year, the main Spanish airline Iberia experienced losses of over €165 million, compared to profits of €20 million during the same period in 2008 (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The company blamed the global financial crisis and knock-on effects on the airline industry for the big reverse in its fortunes, which started in the second half of 2008 with losses of over €70 million. Spain has been particularly badly hit by decreasing numbers of people flying.
Two players of FC Barcelona, Leo Messi and Xavi Hernández, received awards at a UEFA ceremony last night to reward the best footballers in Europe (article in Catalan, Avui). Messi was declared the best overall player in the last Champions League campaign, as well as the best forward, while Xavi was presented with the prize for best midfielder. The winners are voted for by the managers of the 16 teams that reached the final stages of the competition. On the same day, the groups were selected for the first round of this year's Champions League contest: Barça will face old enemy José Mourinho and his Italian team Inter, where former Barcelona player Eto'o is now, along with Dynamo Kiev and Russian side Rubin Karan.
Spanish internet is three times slower than in Lithuania, according to a study by a US trade union into broadband speeds around the globe (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The report found that Spain is in 43rd place on the list of what download speed different countries enjoy; its upload speed rating is even worse, coming in at 93rd. The figures were obtained from Speedtest.net, which provides data on the velocity of internet services in different countries. South Korea and Japan head the list of fastest broadband download, while Russia, Romania and Bulgaria are all in the top 10. In addition, a report by the European Commission has found that the cost of broadband in Spain is one of the highest of all 27 member states, with only three countries having companies that charge more.
Also in the news: Animals at Barcelona Zoo keep cool with 'ice-creams' (video, La Vanguardia); Isabel Coixet's new film inaugurated at Teatre Grec (Avui); Tour of Spain cycling race starts tomorrow (El Periodico)