Spanish politicians have received with scepticism and caution yesterday's announcement by Basque separatist group ETA that it has ceased its violent campaign (read original article in Castellano here, La Vanguardia). ETA released a video to the BBC in which a spokeswoman made public the group's decision to stop its armed attacks in its effort to get independence for the Basque country. However, in the video, the word 'ceasefire' was never used and in response politicians have called on ETA to disband. The Socialist Basque autonomous government called the announcement "insufficient and fraudulent"; the president of the community Patxi Lopez has made no statement, leaving it to the interior minister Rodolfo Ares to respond to the announcement, thereby emphasising the government's disappointment with the latest move by ETA.The secretary of the governing Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Leire Pajín, echoed the sentiment saying that it was "clearly insufficient", adding that Spanish society required ETA to give up violence once and for all and to disband, a call repeated the opposition Partido Popular.
A family of five wild boars (senglar in Catalan, jabalí in Castellano) walked from the Collserola park to the neighbourhood of Gràcia yesterday, reaching Plaça Lesseps before they were herded back up the hill by police (read original article in Castellano here, El Periodico). The group, made up of two parents and three offspring, were seen wandering the streets of Gràcia in the early hours of Sunday morning, an area of Barcelona that the creatures are not generally seen. There is a known community of boars living in the surrounds of Collserola, where they forage for food in nearby residential areas, and in recent times, they have become increasingly brave in their outings to search for food - this summer, various of the animals have been spotted close to Park Güell and in the Park de Guineueta. The five animals who were in Gràcia at the weekend were spotted by residents who alerted the Guàrdia Urbana - agents from that body guided them back towards Collserola although responsibility for making sure they return to the park is generally assumed by the Patronato de Collserola. Barcelona's city council has undertaken a campaign to remind citizens not to give food to wild boar or to leave rubbish bags on the streets.
Thieves who are stealing copper from telephone and electricity lines in Catalunya have now attacked 139 towns (read original article in Catalan here, Avui). Between January and August this year, 330 robberies have taken place in the different municipalities, with the majority of the crimes taking place in the summer months. The areas of Girona and Barcelona have been the most affected while it is the phone company Telefonica that has been the major victim in terms of the amount of copper stolen, while train companies Renfe and Adif and electricity company Endesa have all also suffered at the hands of the thieves. Telefónica has reported that the number of these robberies has increased by 180 percent compared to 2009, causing a significant rise in its costs in dealing with the loss of the cable. Catalan police have arrested more than 500 people in connection with stealing the valubale metal, but only 24 have been imprisoned - copper is currently worth $7,600 per tonne, although last year it reached $9,000, compared to just $1,300 in 2003. Given its high value, some thieves have also targeted other sources of copper including street lights, sport installations and housing estates, as well as construction sites and the new high-speed train line.
Also in the news: Faster, semi-direct train connects Puigcerdà and Barcelona from today (read article in Catalan here, Avui); Zapatero wants Obama to attend Barcelona conference (read article in Castellano here, La Vanguardia); Partido Popular politicians says those without residency papers should be expelled (read article in Castellano here, La Vanguardia).