Evangelical churches have reacted against the decision to stop granting licenses to new places of worship in Salt (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The decision made by the municipality to suspend for one year licenses for places of worship has outraged the evangelical community who consider it unconstitutional and say it is a "flagrant violation of fundamental right to religious freedom or worship". Salt is a city with 40 percent immigration and multiple denominations and is at the centre of a political row over places of worship. In 2006 they approved a bylaw which required that all new places of worship had to be over 200sqm and detached. However religious organisations have complained that there were no locations available that fell under these criteria in the centre of town. The Ley de Centros de Culto de la Generalitat, states that municipalities have to reserve land for religious use, a law that is currently under threat from the CiU who approved last Wednesday a year-long suspension. Ferran Burch, councilor for Independents per Salt (IPS) who abstained from the vote was quoted as saying "the Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom of worship. Why is it so hard to do so in Salt?" The definitive line between religion and immigration has been brought into question in recent months with the xenophobic Plataforma per Catalunya openly campaigning against the opening of a new mosque. The evangelical community has 620 places of worship in Catalunya and around 100,000 practitioners. Secretary general of the Evangelical Council of Catalunya argues that this initiative "doesn't allow us to have places of worship in the city nor outside of it". If the Generalitat permanently amend the Ley de Centros de Culto de la Generalitat then municipalities could be exempt from the requirement to provide space for places of worship.
The PSOE and PP have reached an agreement for constitutional reform that sets the deficit for autonomous municipalities at 0.14 percent, and that of the state at 0.26 percent (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The bill, which was agreed last night amends, article 135 in the Constitution that previously said " that all autonomous communities may not incur a structural deficit that exceeds the limits set by the European Union". They have also added, as in the German constitution, that the limit can only be overcome in cases of natural disasters, economic recession or emergency. The date to meet these new terms is 2020. Although the amendments have been approved by Zapatero and Rajoy, they also need the approval of Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, who will be the leader of the PSOE after November 20th. They also have to worked towards winning the approval of the CiU who are currently refusing to signing the proposed corrections. The concern is that although José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Mariano Rajoy have agreed the changes and exchanged documents the political consequences of the reforms will fall at the feet of Rubalcaba for the PSOE and María Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría for the PP.
Messi has been voted best player in Europe by UEFA (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Leo Messi has been chosen as the best player in Europe ahead of teammate Xavi Hernandez and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Argentine striker was recognised in a ceremony held last night and received his new award by UEFA president Michel Platini.