FC Barcelona has shown that its football team is human after all, after it went out of the Spanish Copa del Rey despite beating Seville 0-1 last night (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). Following the first leg at the Camp Nou last week, when Seville beat the current cup-holders 1-2, Barça knew they had to score at least twice last night to go through to the competition's semi-finals. However, despite fighting hard on a badly waterlogged pitch and in strong winds, the team was not able to do quite enough to continue its winning streak that began when Pep Guardiola took over as trainer in September 2008. Indeed this is the first competition in which Guardiola has seen his team knocked out. However, on the bright side for the team, it means that in coming weeks, it will have to play just one match a week, giving them a chance to properly rest in-between games.
Despite the growing criticisms regarding its decision to prevent certain residents from registering on the town’s official census, the council of Vic is showing itself defiant about its policy (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The ajuntament, made up of a coalition of Convergencia i Unió (CiU), Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and the Partit dels Socialistes del Catalunya (PSC), has said that it stands by the decision not to allow immigrants without identity papers to empadronar (register with the council). Spokespersons for each of the parties say they believe that the legal institutions in the town will support their decision and the mayor of Vic, Josep Maria Vila d’Abadal, of CiU, said that he will commission a second external legal report into the matter. However, the council has said that if a superior administrative authority can show the illegality of the new rule, then it will be withdrawn.
Prices rose by 1.2 percent in Catalunya last year (article in Catalan, Avui). December saw the cost of goods increase by 0.1 percent, and this gave a boost to the area’s inflation rate. Throughout the year, the rising cost of oil had a significant impact on the cost of living here, contributing to the increased prices. In the Barcelona area, prices went up slightly more than the Catalan average, with an inflation rate of 1.3 percent, while in Spain as a whole the annual inflation rate for 2009 was 0.8 percent, the lowest rate since 1962, when records began.
Also in the news: Spanish public works minister thinks airport scanners inevitable here (La Vanguardia); CiU survey says its candidate, Xavier Trias, will be next Barcelona mayor (Avui); Barcelona university develops software to ‘read’ human behaviour (El Periodico)