The train terminal for the AVE in the north of Barcelona in Sagrera has finally been given the go ahead (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The project which had stalled due to a lack of secure funding has now achieved the money required to start the works. Announcing this yesterday in Madrid, the Spanish Ministry of Public Works, the Generalitat and the city Ajuntament have agreed to finance the proposed works at a total cost of €703 million, €100 million more than originally estimated. The collapse of the property market had forced the group to obtain more public funding, the only way to ensure that the work could be initiated. After a series of meetings, agreement was reached and in a press conference yesterday, the Catalan public works minister Joaquim Nadal, his Spanish equivalent José Blanco and Barcelona mayor Jordi Hereu announced that the work on the first phase of the project would start before the end of the year.
The Champion's League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United, taking place next Wednesday, will be shown on giant screens at Maremàgnum, although if the Catalan team wins, celebrations will continue to concentrate mainly in Plaça Catalunya and the Rambla de Canaletes despite the promise of the council to look at other options after recent criticism (article in Castilian, El Mundo). After clashes between fans and police at the recent celebrations for the Copa del Rey and League wins, more than 100 people were arrested but the Mossos d'Esquadra and the Guàrdia Urbana have since promised to increase levels of security in order to guarantee that the possible celebrations will take place without any trouble. The Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB) and Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat (FGC) have announced that they will offer a service up to 2am on all the metro lines and the FGC.
The recently opened Mirador de l'Alcalde in the Montjuïc area has been turned into a make-shift outdoor market less than four months since it was reopened after extensive remodelling (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The park has been taken over by street vendors selling sunglasses and counterfeit music and dvds, according to some claims there are up to 25 people now selling goods daily much to the annoyance of other business owners in the area and, it has been claimed, some tour guides have stopped passing through the area due to the sellers' presence. The city council has vowed to tackle this situation although no specific measures have been set out.
After the sighting of banks of jellyfish off the coast of the Balearic Islands, the Balearic Island Association and Environmental Ministry have been forced to take action, signing an agreement to encourage fishermen to help clean the coastline of the attacking jellyfish (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). Days after a large number of the jellfyish were seen off the Catalan coast, it was agreed that during the months of July and August, boats of all sizes throughout the islands (leaving from 16 different ports) will try to catch the creatures. Rafel Mas, a fisherman and president of the Palma fisherman association welcomed the idea and said that the plan is to create a barrier to keep the stinging jellyfish away from bathing areas. The fishermen can expect to make up to €1 for a kilo and a half of the creatures. Due to the current reproduction season and the dragging current there are already large banks of Pelagia Noctiluca about 20 miles off the Balearic Islands and Catalunya, and the tourist office of the Baleraic islands have sent out a warning message of the effects of their presence on the local tourist sector.
Following weeks of pre-campaign efforts, the official European election campaign has finally kicked off (article in Catalan, Avui). According to a poll, only one in four Spaniards is aware that on June 7th there are elections to the European parliament here, while 75 percent say they have little or no interest in the event, and so all the parties have pledged to work hard to combat the absenteeism that has traditionally plagued this vote. Nationals from European Union countries who are registered at their local town hall (empadronat) are able to vote in these elections.