Following an unusually snowy winter, much of Catalunya is once again on high alert for snow, as well as wind and dangerous seas (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Generalitat has activated its respective emergency plans to deal with extreme weather conditions. which are currently particularly affecting the centre of Catalunya. With snow falling in some areas as low as 100 metres above sea level, certain roads in the region are only accessible to vehicles that have got snow-chains, while in areas including Bages, Solsonès and Osona, roads have been entirely closed. Once again, the border road between Catalanuya and France, the AP-7 at La Jonquera, has been closed to heavy goods vehicles (lorries and coaches). On the outskirts of Barcelona, the motorways of l'Arrabassada and Vallvidrera have been closed due to snow and the adverse weather conditions, while in some areas of Catalunya, school transportation has been cancelled, including in Bages and Vallès.
More than 10,000 people completed yesterday’s Barcelona marathon, which has become the fastest in Spain (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Now in its 30th year, the annual run (which wasn’t held in 2005 due to a disagreement between the city council and the then organiser of the event, la Comissió Marathon Catalunya) has become one of the most popular in the Iberian peninsula and is aiming to reach the global success of runs such as those in New York and London. Since 2006, when a new organising group took over, made up of the Catalan company RPM and the French ASO, its profile has improved significantly and yesterday’s event saw records broken in terms of the number of people taking part—10,550 started the course (of 12,162 who had registered) and 10,238 managed to finish the 42-kilometre run; around 100,000 are estimated to have watched and cheered on those taking part.
A new law that aims to control the way that private foundations use public money is being drawn up by the Catalan ministry of Justice, following the fraud scandal at the Palau de la Música Catalana (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The case, which saw the accused Fèlix Millet and Jordi Montull steal an estimated €35 million from the funds of the Catalan institution, highlighted notable inadequacies in the way that the use of government grants, which represent around 48 percent of their budgets, are monitored by the Generalitat. The new Foundations Protectorate law will also apply in cases to where money is moved between foundations and other private organisations. The law has passed through its initial stages and is due to arrive before the Consell Tècnic of the Generalitat (the step before approval of its implementation) in April.
Also in the news: Barcelona welcomes permanent secretary of the Mediterranean Union (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); European cinemas and film distributors come out against proposed Catalan film law (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Catalan president predicts Catalunya will come out of crisis earlier than rest of Spain (read full article in Catalan here, Avui)