FC Barcelona qualified for the quarter-finals of this year’s Champions League contest with a resounding victory over Stuttgart at the Camp Nou, beating the German team 4-0 (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Leo Messi proved his merit as the FIFA World Player of the Year, by scoring two goals, including the first in the 13th minute, where he managed to beat off four Stuttgart defenders; Messi's second goal came in the 60th minute of the match, when he received the ball from Dani Alves before doing a 180-degree turn to strike it hard into the net. Barça dominated the match throughout and Stuttgart had hardly a chance to get the ball into their half. The other goals were scored by Pedro Rodriguez, following an excellent pass from Touré Yaya, and Bojan Krkic, who substituted Andrés Iniesta in the 89th minute and scored with his first touch of the ball. The draw for the next round of the Champions League takes place tomorrow, with possible rivals for Barça including Manchester United, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Lyon, who last week knocked Real Madrid out of the competition.
Barcelona’s city council will today reveal its two proposals for the renovation of the Avinguda Diagonal (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The Technical Office of the Ajuntament has analysed 12 possible options for making changes to the central Barcelona street and narrowed the alternatives down to a final two; between May 10th and 16th, all over-16 residents of Barcelona registered with the local council (empadronats), some 1.4 million of people, will be able to vote on which of the two they prefer. The first option from the Ajuntament, and which is said to be preferred by local institutions, is the conversion of the current fast lanes into a boulevard that will see the existing lateral pavements practically joined together and all the traffic focused in the central lane, which will be dominated by a tram service and large-capacity buses. The second option would mean a more radical change, seeing the Diagonal become more like a ‘rambla’ with a central pedestrianised area and wider pavements on the sides. The same priority would be given to tram and bus services as in the first version although in the second, they would run on the lateral part of the Diagonal, rather than the centre.
Andalucia has become the first autonomous region in Spain to pass a law dealing with the right to die with dignity (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The law aims to give certain rights to patients suffering from a terminal illness in the final stage of their lives and covers the obligations of doctors in treating them, both in public and private medical centres. From now on, patients will have the right to refuse treatment that would lengthen their life in an “artificial way”, and regulates the limitation of therapeutic treatment, while also allowing patients the right to an individual bedroom and to be accompanied by family-members at the time of their death. It also allows for palliative sedation to relieve the pain of patients, even if it runs the risk of shortening their lives. The Andalucian health minister, María Jesús Montero, said that the case of a woman called Immaculada Echeverría, who was paralysed for 10 years and suffered from muscular atrophy, was one of the motivations for putting the law in place. While the Socialist and Izquierda Unida parties both voted in favour of passing the law in its entirety, the Partido Popular voted against three of the 33 articles in the legislation.
Also in the news: Conflicting reports about number of teachers that went on strike yesterday (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Euro deputy compares bullfighting to abuse of women to commission deciding fate of the tradition in Catalunya (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); US publication predicts decline in Barcelona restaurants (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia)