In 29 comarcas across Catalunya, the popular vote regarding Catalan independence saw 94.71 percent of those taking part yesterday say yes to the proposal (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). According to Carles Mora, the spokesman for Coordinadora Nacional, only 3.53 percent of people voted no and there was a 1.76 percent of void votes. However only 200,000 votes of a possible 700,000 were placed resulting in a low 30 percent participation rate. Despite this, the results have encouraged the organising platform, which announced plans to ask parliament to allow a 'binding referendum' for April 25th 2010. In the most populous municipality, Sant Cugat del Valles, 93.43 percent of those eligible to vote are behind independence. In total 14,002 people voted yes, but again participation in this comarca stood at only 25.45 percent which means that only one in four citizens, over 16 years participated. Still, Uriel Bertran, one of the coordinating leaders termed the vote, called 13-D, a "resounding success".
According to the Ministry of Industry, more than 104,000 people in 49 municipalities in the Barcelona province will suffer a TV 'blackout' today (article in Castilian, El Mundo). This is a draft of the second phase of the Plan Nacional de Transición a la TDT which sees the start of the change over from analog service to digital TV. This part of the transistion started on December 4th and saw the cessation of analog broadcasts in 16 municipalities across the country. To facilitate the change the secretary of state for telecommunications and information is promoting information points set up in 50 cities to provide information about the change plus a further 1042 points will tour 41 municipal provinces to address the questions and doubts people might have. The latest figures from the Ministry of Industry state that over 85 percent of Spanish homes already have access to new digital television channels.
Yesterday the L-9 metro line took its first step towards completion as its first five automated stations were opened in Santa Coloma de Gramenet (article in Castilian, El Periodico). A further 3.9 kilometres of line was ready for operation and the first five hours of service saw 24,000 people use the new line. The service, which was running for free yesterday, was finally opened after 11 months of rigorous testing and seven years of controversy and difficulty over the multimillion-euro investment. Núria Parlon, the new Socialist mayor of Santa Coloma, spoke of the need for these new stations in previously badly connected areas and Generalitat President Jose Montilla said "Now we are all closer."
Also in the news: Widespread snow expected today over much of Catalunya and there's a weather service warning of storms in the Costa Brava and the central coast (El Punt), Badalona wins fight to house the Museo del Cómic y la Ilustración de Cataluña (El Mundo)