The Ayuntamiento is to put a stop to newspaper kiosks in the city selling souvenir items (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The council has powers to regulate newsstands as they are subject to decisions on public space and before August they will begin the process to reform 11 stalls on the Ramblas. The reforms will include the installations of technology to allow them to operate as a point of care to citizens. In August 2008 the council approved a plan of management of establishments selling souvenirs in prohibiting the opening of new stores across the city. From late 2009, until now, the Ciutat Vella district has conducted a thorough inspection and control campaign to enforce this plan. During which 79 establishments were found to be selling souvenir articles, 57 of them operating under licenses that were approved before the plan and 22 after. Of these 22, four went out of business after 13 orders for closure and 10 were sealed for basically not conforming to sell what their licenses allowed. The other 18 conformed to the rules and remain open. The inspections were extended into some of them more historic shops, which in some cases have been open for decades.
The Tribunal Constitutional (TC) will reconvene to vote today once and for all on the verdict of the Estatut (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The president of the TC, María Emilia Casas, will try until the last minute to gain a majority and if she doesn't get it the house will have to vote for the text article by article. The sentence has taken nearly four years to come to issue because the Constitution has always contained two irreconcilable positions on whether or not a decision on statutory reform should contain a certain kind of reasoning. The progressive sector has always believed that the statue only raises the ceiling for self-government whilst the conservative sector has believed from the beginning that Catalunya has embarked on a dangerous journey to sovereignty. At the crux of the debate lies the term nation. The government believed that when placed in the preamble of the Estatut, in the form of a mere historical narrative term it conjured up dangerous connotations and generated strong opposition in the TC. But expressions, which are innocuous in other statutes create sparks of contest when referring to Catalunya. The likely outcome of this long-standing debate is to keep the term in the preamble but to interpret it as such without giving it any legal value.
An investment group is planning to build a resort similar to the fishing town Cadaqués off the coast of Taiwan (read article in Castilian here El Pais). The Empordà village has long been a haven for artists and bohemians but has become a destination for people getting away for the weekend. Chinese business group (China Zhangzhou) have decided to build a beach resort in Xiamen Bay, off the coast of Taiwan, in the image and likeness of the fishing village. Former-resident, Salvador Dalí is thought to be the figure that aroused their curiosity over the village and the investment group is set to meet the mayor of the town. Joan Borrell today. He says, "So far we know few details but we like the idea and are satisfied with the treatment they have shown". As Borrell says there are not many details known about the project but the Asian Cadaqués is likely to be an exclusive resort town with the characteristics of a XXI century tourist destination. During the visit with the mayor the group will be "provided with information on urban and cultural management criteria, in order to achieve a relationship that is beneficial for both parties".
Also in the news: Some 12,000 people attended the Gay Pride celebrations over the weekend (read full article in Castilian here El Periodico). Cunit, Mollet, Santa Coloma and Balaguer are to vote on whether the burka should be banned (read full article in Catalan here, El Punt).