Regal Barça, the basketball team of FC Barcelona, won the final of the Euroliga’s Champions league yesterday in Paris, defeating opponents Olympiacos by 86 points to 68 (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). This is the second time that the Barça team have won the trophy following success in the 2003 final, played at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi—they have previously played two Euroliga finals in Paris without success, making this triumph particularly sweet for many fans. The final scoreline was one of the most convincing of recent times, with Regal Barça having dominated for the majority of the 40 minutes of play. As well as the support of hundreds of fans who had travelled to the French capital, the players were also cheered on by various members of the club’s football team, including captain Carlos Puyol, midfielder Xavi Hernandez and defender Gerard Piqué, who all arrived a bit late (along with Barça president Joan Laporta) due to flight delays caused by the volcanic ash cloud.
Spanish King Juan Carlos I is recovering in Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic following an operation on Saturday to remove a benign nodule from his right lung, which has been discounted as cancerous (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The king was visited by various relatives and dignitaries following the surgery, including the president of the Generalitat, José Montilla, Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and the Prince and Princess of Asturias. Prince Felip said that the king is recovering well and is a “good patient”; he added that his father has been eating and was able to get up briefly from his bed. Catalan president said that the king had told him that he had been very well treated in the Barcelona public hospital and was grateful to the treatment and professionality of the medical staff who operated on him and are taking care of his recovery.
From 10am today, until 10am on Sunday 16th, all residents of Barcelona who are registered with the town hall can vote on their preference for the future design of Avinguda Diagonal (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). More than 1.4 million people are eligible to take part in the vote, which can either be carried out over the internet or in person at one of 108 points specially set up around the city (information on both methods can be found here: www.bcn.cat/diagonal). Many of the points are located in cultural or civic centres, including public libraries and other council buildings—they will all be open from 10am to 9pm from today until Saturday. To be able to place your vote, you need to have your national identity card, passport or driving licence and once your age has been checked (it is necessary to be over 16 to take part in the vote) and that you were registered on the local census before January 1st 2010, you will be given a single-use magnetic card, which has to be inserted into the voting machine and allows you to place your vote. There are three options to choose from: A is a boulevard-style design (ie. wide side pavements with traffic mainly running in the centre of the street), B is a rambla (with a central pedestrianised section and traffic on the laterals), while the other option is to for neither of the two previous options and keeping the avenue as it is now. For those who want to vote via internet, they will need either a digital certificate to identify themselves, to have an account with one of the collaborating institutions (eg Banc Sabadell or the Universitat de Barcelona) or get a special code via SMS.
Also in the news: European Union approves a permanent rescue fund for countries with economic difficulties (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Barcelona airport briefly affected by return of volcanic ash cloud (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Generalitat president wants simpler hierarchy system for Catalan government (read full article in Catalan here, Avui).