The Catalan political party Convergencia i Unió (CiU) is feeling confident about being able to close the gap on the Catalan Socialists (PSC) in the European Parliamentary Elections being held on June 7th, and has called on residents to use their vote to make a call in defence of Catalunya (article in Catalan, Avui). The PSC currently dominates Catalan politics, holding power in the Generalitat (although in the last elections, it was CiU who got more votes, but ultimately the PSC made an agreement with two other parties to set up a coalition) and the powerful city council of Barcelona, as well as many other municipal councils throughout the region. CiU is a nationalist party that tends towards centrists policies (compared to Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, which is a left-wing nationalist party), and it is seeking to return to its position as the second Catalan party in Europe, which it lost to the right-wing Partido Popular in the 2004 elections.
The streets of Barcelona were filled with hundreds of thousands of people yesterday as they welcomed the winners of the Champions League back from their triumph in Rome on Wednesday (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). An open-top bus carried the footballers, along with the trainers and other key staff, from the city port along a route that took in some of the principal roads of Barcelona, all filled with cheering crowds. The sheer number of people who wanted to see the team go past meant that the procession took almost an hour long than expected, with the bus finally pulling up to the Camp Nou around 10.30pm. Waiting there, were some 100,000 other people who had been able to get in to the stadium for free and regardless of whether they were socis (members) of FC Barcelona. There, the players and staff, made speeches, danced and did various laps of honour with the three cups that they've won this season.
Prices fell again in Spain in May, the third month in a row that negative inflation has affected the country. According to the National Statistics Institute, the cost of living fell by 0.8 percent this month: this compares to a negative 0.2 percent rate of inflation in April and a positive inflation rate of 4.6 percent in May 2008. Prices in Spain have been falling since August last year, when inflation reached a peak of 5.3 percent. The Spanish Economic Vicepresident, Elena Salgado, said yesterday that the figures didn't indicate that the country is suffering deflation (a continuous and general fall in prices), although the PP have warned that deflation is already a problem and a "very dangerous" one at that.