The amount of domestic rubbish in Spain, especially plastic items, has reached worrying levels, according to the government, and it has decided to take tough action to deal with the problem (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). As well as the significant amount of rubbish produced, Spaniards don't separate out enough items to be recycled and take them to the appropriate containers. As such, the government is seeking ways to encourage the public to recycle more, for instance with a return to the old system of returning glass bottles to shops where they can be exchanged for money. The Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has proposed a new law to the Spanish Congress that would see such an initiative put in place and indeed widened to include other containers, including tetrabrik, cans and plastic bottles that are made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate). "It's one of the measures set out by the European Union," according to Jesús Huertas, director general of Environmental Quality and Evaluation at the Ministry of the Environment. Such a returns system is already in place in other European countries, including Germany and The Netherlands; environmentalists in Spain have proposed that consumers receive €0.25 per item returned. This plan is just part of the wider law to deal with the growing rubbish problem, which is expected to be approved in the summer, said Huertas, having been fast-tracked through Congress.
The son-in-law of the internationally-famed Catalan jeweller Rosa Tous is to appear in court today accused of murder, after he shot dead an assailant at the Tous home (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Lluís Corominas, who is also the head of security for the Tous family, is facing a possible 11 years in prison for the shooting, which took place on December 9th, 2006. According to information from the public prosecutor, at around 6.45pm, a security guard at the home in Sant Fruitós de Bages called Corominas to say that he had spotted two intruders in the garden via the close-circuit camera system. Corominas then drove to the house, with his semi-automatic pistol, where he spotted a car parked 50 metres from the house with two men inside it (who were unarmed, according to the prosecutor) and fired twice. The driver, Sinani G., was shot in the head and died as a result of his injuries two days later. Corominas stayed with the other man, keeping his gun on him, until police arrived; the two intruders who had entered the property escaped, although they were later caught. The prosecutor is to take into account that Corominas acted while under stress, following the call received, because the home had been broken into three days previously and there was a general feeling of insecurity due to a high number of attempted robberies on private homes in Catalunya. The security chief was said to be obsessed with the issue of keeping the family safe, following a break-in at the house of one of the daughters of Rosa Tous in 2004, which is located in the same private estate as her parents's home and that of other family members, during which a microphone was installed in the bedroom that she shared with her partner.
FC Barcelona took another step towards winning this year's Spanish league after their defeat of local rivals Espanyol yesterday (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué scored at the Camp Nou to give Barça three points, which means that at the next match, taking place in Valencia against Levant next week, the Catalan team could finalise their triumph at the top of the table, ahead of Real Madrid. The team just needs one point to take the title, so a draw will suffice—the only reason that this sequence of events could change is if Madrid suffer a surprise defeat against Getafe tomorrow. Yesterday was a test for the Barcelona players to see how they would cope following their recent four matches against Madrid and their successful campaign to reach the final of the Champions League at the end of this month. Barça was motivated to win yesterday's game so that they can tie up the Spanish league as quickly as possible, leaving them to focus on the Wembley final, taking place on May 28th against Manchester United. However, Espanyol didn't make it easy for them, motivated as they were in turn by the possibility of victory bringing them close to a place in European competitions next season. If Espanyol had won, and following the defeat of two of their close rivals Seville and Atletico de Madrid, they would have been just one point away from the European places in the Spanish league. As such, both teams came out determined to win, and the two trainers, Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, fielded strong sides.