Regal FC Barcelona, the club’s basketball team, yesterday triumphed in the final of the Copa del Rey competition, beating rivals Real Madrid 80-61 (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Taking place in Bilbao in front of the Spanish king and queen, the match saw the Catalan team dominate from the second quarter of the game and at one point in the latter stages, they led by 28 points over the Madrileños. The first quarter was a more even contest, with both sides getting off to a rapid start, ending with the scoreboard showing 19-16 to Barça. Gradually, however, the blaugranas started to take control of the game and eventually their offensive players proved too strong for the defenders on the Madrid side.
Spanish banks and savings banks have embarked on an aggressive campaign for their savings schemes in the hope of gaining new clients (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). While in 2009, the aim of many banks’ marketing campaigns was to gain liquidity, this year it seems that their basic aim is to capture clients and once on board, negotiate services with them. Like mortgages, savings’ deposits can be an expensive product for banks to manage, but the hope is that once clients have signed up for one, they will then be open to other services and products offered by the respective financial entity. However, some experts have said that the recent news regarding the Greek national debt, as well as growing demands by capital markets when providing finance for banks, could lead the Spanish banks to seek out greater liquidity, which in turn could cause them to try to provide even more competitive offers in the hope of gaining customers.
Avinguda Diagonal, and especially the section between Plaça Francesc Macià and Passeig de Gràcia, is the most saturated road in Barcelona, according to a recent report carried out on behalf of the city council, a fact that could have a serious impact on the planned reform of the Diagonal (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The report was received in December by technicians in the council who are working on the two possible options for renovating the Diagonal, due to be voted on in a referendum by residents in the near future. The study found that the avenue is the ‘backbone’ for traffic in Barcelona and that, despite its numerous lanes, is regularly used by an excessive number of vehicles.
Also in the news: Crisis forces British Costa del Sol ex-pats back to UK (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Spanish central government confident about release of three Catalan charity workers being held hostage by Al-Qaeda group in Mauritania (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Zapatero calls on Rajoy to make joint anti-crisis pact “for the country not for the government” (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico)