The president of the International Automobile Exhibition in Barcelona Enrique Lacalle has called this year's fair a success, despite initial fears of a low turn out and the near cancellation of the event all together. (article in Castilian, El Mundo). Lacalle estimated that one million visitors have attended this year's fair over the nine days, achieving the set out goal for attendance and meeting 2007's figures despite the current economic situation. This year's exhibition saw 55 brands attending, which is 11 more than in the previous fair. Although unable to comment on how the popularity of the fair translated into sales Lacalle added that all the brands were 'delighted' and that 'everything has been sold'.
Statistics released today in El Periodico (article in Castilian) revealed that 57% of physicians who enrolled at the Col Metges Barcelona (CMG) in 2008 were foreigners, 20% more than in 2006. Of the 1408 students who registered last year in Barcelona, 800 were foreigners, (664 from South American and 136 from Europe). However as Spanish law requires that in addition to training to graduate level in medicine the practitioner has to then train as a specialist thus exceeding the medical training time equivalent in other countries.The consellera de Salut, Marina Geli and the CMB have called on various ocasiones for the urgent revision of the approval of credentials of foreign staff where it can take up to 6 years for accreditation of specialists. In fact none of the 800 foreign medical students who recently finished their qualifications have yet to have their titles approved. In response to this a growing number of public hospitals in Catalunya have been forced to hire foreign staff as specialists basing their decisions on good records and references whilst awaiting the verdict of approval on a lesser pay scale than fully certified staff and with less secure contracts. The greatest shortfall of available, approved staff is for anesthesiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and psychiatrists. Marc Soler, director of the area's demographic CMB says that 'The state's accreditation system is outdated and is ineffective.'
The 2009 Eurovision candidate for Spain, Soroya said that "I feel calm because we've done a good job and also very satisfied with how the performance went" (article in Castilian, El Mundo). Despite coming second last in the competition on Saturday with the song La Noche es para mi. With a total of only 23 points, (12 from Andorra, 7 from Portugal, 3 from Switzerland and 1 from Greece). Last year Spain managed to get just 55 points and came 16th with Chiki-chiki. Soraya, 26 from Caceres received one of the worst positions for Spain in recent years despite being one of the favourites. Behind Spain was the Finnish act Walden People who recieved 22 points. However she faired better than the four Spanish entries who have finished last in the competition in 1962, 1965, 1983 and in 1999. The night's winner Alexander Rybak the 23 Norwegian violinist won with a staggering 387 votes.