The campaign for the May 22nd municipal elections has officially started, with Convergència i Unió (CiU) looking likely to win the Barcelona mayoral vote for the first time in three decades (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The two-week campaign has begun with the traditional putting up of posters promoting the different candidates, and in Barcelona, it looks set to be a difficult fight between the two main participants, incumbent Jordi Hereu of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and CiU challenger Xavier Trias. The latter is currently the favourite in the polls; the most recent one carried out by CIS gave CiU 16 seats compared to the PSC's 12. If this was the actual result on the day, it would mean that Trias had broken 32 years of PSC hegemony on the Barcelona council.
FC Barcelona has confirmed that it will have 24,000 tickets available for club members for the Champions League final at Wembley on May 28th against Manchester United (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). "We will have a third of the stadium's seating," said the Barça board secretary and spokesperson Toni Freixa, "because the criteria of UEFA are different from those for the Copa del Rei. In Valencia [for the Copa], the club had 40 percent of the seats." Of the 24,000 tickets, 85 percent will be distributed amongst Barça socis (members) and penyes (supporters' clubs) and the remaining 15 percent used for "corporate compromises" of the club. Barça has also made agreements with its travel agent to lay on charter flights to London on the day of the match, which will cost €370. This price is notably cheaper than the last two finals that the Catalan club has played, when flights to Rome cost €425 and to Paris, €435. In addition, this time, all the flights will leave from Barcelona, for the "greater comfort" of the fans, according to Freixa. Those supporters who prefer to travel by coach can do so at a cost of €140.
The Spanish Constitutional Court has ruled that the Basque left-wing political party Bildu can take part in this month's elections (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Just before midnight last night, the court overturned the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court to declare the party illegal with a vote of six to five. The ultraconservative member of the court Francisco Hernando admitted failure at the last minute of his attempt to ratify the illegalisation of Bildu, and the court went on to take a vote on whether the party could present itself at the urns on May 22nd, which saw the motion carry.