The Spanish Constitutional court is due to meet next Wednesday to discuss the situation with the Catalan statute (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The president of the court, María Emilia Casas, has called the gathering, which could see a vote on whether or not to accept the seven appeals against the new version of the statute, although it seems that there is still no clear majority for its approval. Casas has discussed the matter with each of the magistrates on the court in the past few weeks, but still doesn’t know whether the next deliberation regarding the terms of the statute will see its passing by the court’s members. In the past, Casas had thought she had a majority vote regarding her proposals on the statute, but at the last minute, the majority failed to materialise. However, she has said that she may now use her deciding vote in the event that there is a draw between the two sides of the court.
One in every five Catalan police officers is a woman, one of the highest European averages (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). According to figures from the Generalitat’s Interior Ministry, 3,075 of the 15,091 members of the Catalan police force (the Mossos d’Esquadra) are women, some 20 percent of the total; in addition, last December, the first female police commissioner of the Mossos, Cristina Manresa, took up her post. The relatively high number of female police officers is a result of equality policies initiated by the Interior minister, Joan Saura. The number of female officers in the Mossos is almost the same as in the UK force and similar to those in some of the Scandinavian countries, while it is much higher than in other Spanish police forces—the national police body has only 8.7 percent of women, while in the Basque force, it is nine percent.
The leader of the Spanish opposition Partido Popular party (PP), Mariano Rajoy, has said that he will initiate a restructuring of the treasury, management and financial areas of the PP (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The move comes after revelations this week in the caso Gürtel focusing on accusations of corruption amongst members of the PP, particularly in the Valencia and Galicia areas; however, when making the announcement about the re-shuffle, Rajoy reiterated that there is no irregular financing within the party. On the same day, Senator Luis Bárcenas, the treasurer of the party, stepped down from his post, after having been named in the investigation report into the Gürtel case as one of the key figures in the corruption charges. Rajoy thanked Bárcenas for his decision to leave voluntarily—however, when asked whether he believed in the innocence of Bárcenas, Rajoy restricted himself to saying that “everyone is innocent unless the opposite is demonstrated.”
Also in the news: Johan Cruyff made Honorary President of FC Barcelona (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Antoni Tàpies named marqués by King Juan Carlos (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Generalitat admits failings in dealing with March snow storm (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico)