Girls at school
The interior minister of the Generalitat, Felip Puig, is planning a reorganisation of the anti-riot system of the Catalan police following failings while dealing with the 15-M indignados movement (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Three heads of the Mossos d'Esquadra travelled to Germany during the summer, at the behest of Puig, where they spoke to anti-riot chiefs in Frankfurt and Renania-Palatinado; they were seeking advice and recommendations regarding tactics and material to employ in the event of public disturbances, such as water canons. These were used a lot by police during the Franco dictatorship and were decommissioned during the late Seventies largely for reasons of image, because they had become an icon of the repression of the Franco regime. The mission to Germany was not an isolated incident, however. Sources from the interior ministry have confirmed to El Periodico, that it was part of Puig's decision to carry out a reorganisation from the top down of the anti-riot branch of the Mossos, providing that budgets allow for the changes. Puig wants an increase in the number of anti-riot officers, a change of strategy, the purchase of new material and the collection of evidence against repeat offenders.
The smaller football clubs from the Spanish first division have offered a conciliatory hand to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid as part of their aim to gain greater benefits from the selling of television rights to cover matches (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The 12 clubs, which met yesterday in Seville at a meeting organised by the president of Seville football club José Maria del Nido, have decided not to leave the two major clubs out of their efforts because they recognise that the two are crucial for them achieving their objective. Representatives from Athletic, Atlético, Betis, Espanyol, Granada, Málaga, Osasuna, Racing, Sevilla, Valencia, Villarreal and Zaragoza took part in the gathering yesterday and reached agreement that it would only be as a single unit, and with a reform in the management system of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, that they will be able to see a notable increase in income and a fairer distribution of this money.
The ending of the sixth hour of teaching in public schools in Catalunya, which comes into effect in the new school year starting on Monday, has seen a rise in the demand for 'additional' hours [whereby parents pay to leave their child or children at school after the end of the official school day] and extra-curricular activities (read article in Catalan here, El Punt-Avui). The majority of parents, who don't have family members such as grandparents available or able to collect children from school, are having to decide what to do when their children finish classes from 4pm onwards, many at 4.30pm, instead of 5pm. It has been called an "impossible" timetable for many. “Demand has risen particularly in acollides [additional hours], whether it be the generic ones, where the infants do a bit of everything and are occupied that way, or ludoteques [activity parks], libraries or extra study hours, apart from the traditional extra-curricular activities," explained Sandra Freixa, in charge of schools for the Fundació Pere Tarrés, an organisation that is expert in the management of free time that works with 60 schools in Catalunya. According to Freixa, “many schools are asking us to organise extra study classes." This is a result of the "concern about the alarming reports regarding educational failings by school-children and the worry of parents regarding their children falling behind in their studies," she added. If they enrol their children in these classes, many families make sure that their children do their homework.