Catalan politicians, at both local and governmental levels, are finding it difficult to reach a consensus regarding a solution to the problem of prostitution in Barcelona (article in Catalan, Avui). While the mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, has called on both the government of the Catalan autonomous community and the Spanish state to take measures to deal with street prostitution, little progress has been made in that direction. One of the problems is due to conflicts between the jurisdiction of the national government and that of the Catalan Generalitat; while the previous Interior Minister of the Catalan government created a draft regulation to deal with prostitution, it has not been taken any further because it needs to go through the Spanish congress because it recommends an economic regulation, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Spanish state. An interdepartmental group of the Generalitat, including representatives from health and social services, and citizen security, are addressing the matter, while two of the three political parties currently governing in Catalunya, ERC and ICV, have said they are in favour of legalising prositution as has been done in the Netherlands and Germany. However, the third, and largest member of the coalition government, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), has not yet made a public statement on the issue, as they’re waiting for the group’s executive to reach a decision about it.
Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has announced a new law of economic sustainability, which he believes will help the country deal with the current financial crisis (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The legislation covers a ream of matters that Zapatero says are the basis of recovery in Spain, including technology, innovation, education and renewable energies. However, the prime minister didn’t provide details of what the law will entail or the tools that will be used to achieve its objectives. In the speech made on Sunday at a political meeting, Zapatero also said that he believes that the worst of the crisis has passed.
A study carried out on behalf of Barcelona council’s environmental department has found that the city is home to six different breeds of bat (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The investigation focused on 17 parks and gardens around Barcelona and registered the sounds of the different types of bat (murciélago in Castilian) living in them by using high-frequency sound detectors. The study found that Montjuïc is the area that has both the greatest variety and quantity of bats living in it. Other parks where the night creatures were found include Diagonal Mar and in the neighbourhoods of Guinardó and Sant Martí. It was found that the bats preferred parks with a higher level of greenery and water (because this means there are more insects for them to eat), and that if they can, they would rather live in holes they find in buildings than gardens. In addition, while it was thought that the dwarf bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) was the most common in Barcelona, it now turns out to be the Cabrera breed (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) that has the greatest number of colonies here.
Also in the news: Increase in number of people looking for food in Barcelona’s rubbish bins (El Periodico); Climate change influences habits of birds in Catalunya (El Periodico); Warm weather adds to woes for fashion retail industry (La Vanguardia)