The Reagrupament association, formed by a breakaway group from the political party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, is in disarray today after its founder, Joan Carretero, resigned over the weekend (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Speaking this morning for the first time since he left his post on the Catalan radio station RAC1, Carretero said that he had quit the project that he set up last year because “there were attitudes [within the group] that were taking us towards being a classic political party”, whereas his objective was to create a “new movement”. Reagrupament was never formed as a political party, but it was planning to put forward candidates at the next election for the Generalitat in the hope of bringing the issue of Catalan independence to the fore of political discussion. Carretero added that, although he is no longer part of the leadership of Reagrupament, he would continue to be an associate of the group, and that he was favourable to the idea of supporting all the movements that are fighting for Catalan independence.
The Catalan charity Fundación Vicente Ferrer has been nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and the campaign in its favour is due to start in earnest within the next few weeks (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Barcelona native Vicente Ferrer, a one-time Jesuit missionary who died last year, set up the organisation in southern India to carry out humanitarian projects in support of local people; its work today helps some 2.5 million residents in the Andhra Pradesh region. The president of the platform that has nominated the Fundación, Rafael Vilasanjuan, has stressed the importance of making people aware of the work that it does as part of the campaign to win the prize. Vilasanjuan was part of a group that, in 1999, was successful in its campaign to have the peace prize awarded to the charity Médicins Sans Frontières, and he said that “it’s not enough that it deals with a good project, but that its added value is highlighted.” He also said that, at a time when the UN’s Millennium Goals were generally thought to be unreachable in the original timeframe set, the work done by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation was of a nature to be easily exportable to other areas and countries that have similar needs, making it highly significant in working with the world's poor.
It’s been revealed that so-called fast-track trials in Barcelona are currently actually taking up to 10 months to come to court (read article in Catalan here, Avui). In theory, and according to the law that regulates them, such trials should come to court within 15 days from when the relevant incident is reported. However, a case that is reported today will not be dealt with until November, and each day, this delay grows more. In the light of this backlog, the president of the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Catalunya, Maria Eugènia Alegret, recently ordered a report on the matter from the senior member of Barcelona’s penal courts. This study showed that in 2005, 3,000 fast-track trials were dealt with; in 2009, it was more than 5,300.
Also in the news: Study finds that showing more films in Catalan could lead to a rise in profits for cinemas (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Convergencia i Unió launches its Generalitat election campaign (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Employment minister insists older retirement age is still up for negotiation (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia)