A popular vote held in Arenys de Munt yesterday to gauge the popularity of having an independent Catalan state showed that the majority of residents (96 percent) are in favour of independence (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The controversial vote had already attracted negativity from the left-wing independence party, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and the Catalan Socialists who opposed the vote and demonstrations held by fangalist groups were expected. However there were no altercations on the day due to a heavy police presence with only around 60 protesters in attendance. The president of the Entesa Progrés Municipal, mayor of Sant Pere de Torello (Ososa) and delegate of the Central Government in Catalunya, Jordi Fàbrega Arenys announced that elected officials and associations in 60 municipalities had expressed an interest in copying the process.
The Spanish Government is to open an investigation against 'low cost' airlines over the illegal practice of charging for luggage and to check in (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The companies to be investigated include Ryanair, easyjet and Vueling who all charge customers to check in their bags. Over 20 percent of all the complaints that the Agència Catalana de Consum (ACC) received in the first seven months of the year concerned the billing for luggage and the charge for the use of credit cards, practices that the Agency branded as 'abusive' when most airlines leave no alternative method of payment. Ryanair, easyjet and Vueling, the three leading low cost airlines that operate in Catalunya, charge between €10 and €11 with Ryanair charging €15 for one bag and €35 for a second one.
This year will see the birthplace of Francesc Macià, (past president of the Generalitat) lead the celebrations for the Any Macià, 150 years after his birth (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Vilanova i la Geltrú has scheduled exhibitions, conferences and the publication of an official postal stamp and on October 23rd, Macià will be ratified as the city's favourite son, a title that has been withdrawn and reinstated various times over the years. However, Tomàs Alvaro, second deputy mayor and municipal councilor of the town has said that the city has "the historical debt to dignify his figure". Macià famously founded a movement to gather the forces Catalan, the Estat Català and tried to overthrow the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera by organising an armed raid.
Also in the news: Locksmiths in Barcelona are warning home owners about a new tool being used by burglars in the area who pose as gas workers to know whether people are home (El Periodico). Schools go back this week with the highest number of pupils since 1992 - but teacher numbers are down by 1,500 (El Mundo).