The 2011 edition of the Mobile World Congress, which brings together professionals from the mobile phone industry, starts in Barcelona today with between 53,000 and 55,000 delegates expected in the city (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia).There is more at stake this year than in recent editions, as the location for the next set of four editions (2013-2017) of the event is currently under consideration and the city is keen to be chosen once again. The director general of the Fira de Barcelona, where the fair is centred, also says that the challenge is to make Barcelona the centre of mobile technology throughout the year, not just for the week of the Mobile World Congress. "It's not just a question of welcoming a fair," says Agustín Cordón. "For this reason, the proposal that Barcelona has made [for staging the congress from 2013 to 2017] includes public services and private companies." Barcelona will compete with Paris, Milan and Munich to convince the organisers, GSMA, that it is the right place to keep holding the annual event. This year's fair is expected to reach statistics last seen before the crisis with more space given over to it and up to €225 million being spent by attendees. The Mobile World Congress has been held in Barcelona since 2006 and early problems such as the price of hotel rooms, a lack of taxis and problems with security have been overcome, according to Agustín Cordón, to make the experience of staging the fair here positive for both the city and GSMA.
The Catalan film Pa Negre (Black Bread) has triumphed at this year's edition of the Spanish Film Academy awards, the Goyas, winning nine trophies (read article in Catalan here, Avui).The film, which had been nominated in 14 categories, won awards for best film and best director for Agustí Villaronga and best adapted screenplay (it is based on a novel by the writer Emili Teixidor). Francesc Colomer and Marina Comas took home the prizes for best new actor and actress, while there were also wins in the best actress and supporting actress categories for the Catalan movie. Javier Bardem won best actor for his role in Biutiful. The documentary Bicicleta, cullera, poma (Bicycle, spoon, apple) about former president of the Generalitat Pasqual Maragall who is suffering from Alzheimer's, won best documentary.
Forty-eight percent of Spaniards say they won't be giving any presents to their loved one for Valentine's Day this year (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The tradition of February 14th marking the day of romance is not strong here, especially when compared to some other countries, and it seems to be on the wane even further. According to the survey carried out by the Federación de Usuarios Consumidores Independientes, in 2008, only five percent of those asked said they wouldn't be anything for their partner for Valentine's, which rose to 24 percent in 2009 and 40 percent last year. Of those asked who said they would be buying a present, flowers proved to be the most popular option, with 51 percent choosing them as their gift, followed by 33 percent who would buy chocolates; just two percent said they would buy jewellery. The majority of those asked said they would spend less than €30 on a present (75 percent) with nine percent planning an outlay of more than €50.