Following its rejection of the Spanish goverment's plan to help customers buy a new car, and thus give support the troubled auto industry here, the Catalan government will today set out its own plan to boost car sales (article in Catalan, Avui). The proposal put forward two weeks ago by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to give a lump sum to those who want to buy a car, included the requirement that the governments of the various autonomous communities in Spain provide €500 of the amount to be given out to each customer. However, many protested against this plan, including the Catalan Generalitat. Today, it will outline its alternative strategy, which will also include payment to those who want to buy motorbikes; but car outlets say that they have seen a fall in sales as clients wait to see how much money they will receive to help them buy a vehicle.
The Basque terrorist group ETA have announced in a newspaper interview that they are currently reassessing their position and before the summer they will have created a new "armed-political" strategy (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). In the same article, published in the newspaper Gara, the two members of ETA who were interviewed, state ETA's concern that the government of the Basque government is now in the hands of what it calls the "Spanish fascist alliance"—the Socialist party recently took power in the autonomous community thanks to support for its minority government from the Partido Popular.
The popular street race La Cursa de El Corte Inglés took place yesterday with more than 57,000 people running the 11-kilometre route around the city (article in Castilian, El Periodico). In its 31st year, the race is the one that gains the most participants in Barcelona, although in the past it has had as many as 109,000 runners. While many people take part with a less-than-competitive attitude, there are many who seek to run the course as fast as they can; the quickest male runner was Mohamed Benhbarka, a member of FC Espanyol's Blanc i Bleu Club, who crossed the line in 33 minutes 23 seconds, just ahead of Driss Lakhouaja who finished in 33 minutes and 24 seconds. The quickest female was Meritxell Calduch, a member of the FC Barcelona running club, whose time was 38 minutes and 59 seconds.