Two students from Tarragona studying at the University of Münster died after being crushed in crowds at the Love Parade festival in Germany (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The girls, who had spent the last two months in Germany on an Erasmus programme, were 21 and 22 years old. Clara Zapater Caminal and Marta Acosta Mendoza died after people trying to get into the festival through a tunnel resulted in 19 deaths and hundreds of people injured. The families of the two girls are to travel to Germany this afternoon to identify the bodies and carry out the repatriation procedures. Amongst the 342 wounded, there were two more Spanish students also enrolled in the Erasmus programme in Münster. Amongst the dead, alongside Caminal and Acosta Mendoza, were people from Italy, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, China and Bosnia and all were aged between 20 and 40 years old. In a tense press conference, the organisers of the festival, alongside politicians and police gave few details of the disaster. Around 1.4 million visitors attended the festival but it was revealed yesterday that the grounds where it was held had the capacity for only 300,000 people. There was only 120,000 square meters of ground and only one access path, the tunnel where the stampede occurred.
Those for and against bull-fighting gathered at the gates of the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Barcelona ahead of the vote this week that decides whether or not to ban the sport (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The protesters took their places hours before the last run in Catalunya before Parliament decides on it prohibition this week. Anti-bullfighting protesters sounded whistles and raised banners with slogans like "Bulls are not culture." The vote is to take place on Wednesday and the result of which will take effect within 18 months. The vote this week, is the final decision on the bill and it is expected that Members of the CiU will have the deciding vote. During what could be the last run, El Cid, the matador, Manuel Jesus met against El Fandi. The crowd turned excited during what was a very special day for them. Playing the Catalan 'national anthem' Els Reapers the crowd waved the senyera and Spanish flags and rose to their feet, shouting cries of "Freedom, freedom."
84 percent of the complaints made to the Guardia Urbana are for noise disturbances (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). Between January and May this year, police received a total of 17,640 calls from citizens with complaints about noise. And it is not just a problem for citizens, a survey from the Barcelona Tourism office has revealed that tourists have voted the Catalan capital the worst for noise. According to measurements taken by El Pais, on La Rambla at midnight, the sound-level still reaches 70 decibels, which is higher than normal for a tourist area. The limit, imposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is 60 decibels. The Ayuntamiento has ensured that noise reduction is now a priority and has invested €17 million in the Noise Pollution Reduction Plan for 2010 to 2011, with eight million of that destined to increasing the use of 'sound-reduction' paving. So far, around 32 percent of the 11 million square meters of road in the city already incorporate the system, which reduces the traffic noise from five to three decibels. In addition, new measures are to be imposed with a reduction of five decibels to the noise limits across the city and a new time zone of between 9am to 11pm is to be imposed. According to the new draft, it will be prohibited to throw bottles in the recycling container after 10pm until 8am and a new fine of €1,800 will be enforced if broken. Plus, playing loud music in the car with the windows down, will be subject to a fine of €9,000.
Also in the news: The king appeals for solidarity between the communities in Spain (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico).