Nearly five months after a blackout left 459,396 homes without electricity in the province of Girona after a heavy snowfall, the Catalan government has decided to open proceedings to penalise Endesa (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The possible fine, which must be resolved within one year, will be based on the "deficiencies in the management of emergency power," according to the Department of Economics and Finance. Endesa, who is facing a possible fine of €6 million denies any mismanagement. After the blackout in March, the government questioned around 15 companies to clarify whether they had any responsibility in the chaos although they have since decided to pursue their investigations with Endesa after concluding that they had failed in their "obligation to report the incident" to the municipalities and the directorate general for energy and mines. Endesa handling of the incident was widely regarded as controversial and attracted criticism from several mayors on the Costa Brava. José Montilla, President of the Generalitat, also criticised the company saying that the company did not dare to give a date for the return of service.
Air traffic controllers call for a meeting with José Blanco in order to further negotiations (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The meeting yesterday, between AENA and the union USCA concluded with six of the twelve points contested by the controllers being resolved. The workers have no requested a meeting with the development minister, Blanco in order to close the deal. The points agreed on include workers over 57 years old, reduced operational settings, staffing levels, and training issues. César Cabo, spokesperson for USCA, that the main obstacle in reaching an agreement is "going to a much slower rate, without providing solutions to the union." He also stated that the controllers have made a proposal about their hours which will now be analysed by AENA. Which means that their working day would come in a cyclical shift, meaning four days working and two days for resting. AENA will have to respond in quickly "for the welfare of passengers and the tourism industry" because the situation requires "urgency."
The US still considers Spain a base for terrorist organisations (read article in Castlian here, La Vanguardia). The American government believes that in 2009, Spain remained "a major base for terrorist organisations." These points were published in the Netherlands, in a report on terrorism. The report notes that in October, the group Al Qaeda, in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM by its acronym in English), decided to rename their campaign, Al Andalus, which "reinforced the concern" of the Spanish Government. Another highlight is the fact that Spain has become "a strategic crossroads for international terrorist groups" because of its geographical location the large number of immigrants from North Africa and South Asia. The State Department stated that "Spain remained an important transit base for financing and logistics for terrorists organisations in Western Europe." The report also pointed out that 2009 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of ETA and the terrorist group "marked its anniversary with a series of deadly attacks." In a positive note in the report it argued that the "Spanish government maintained a strong stance on law enforcement and intelligence against terrorist financing."