Jordi Hereu has guaranteed €15 million in grants and earmarked another €12 million to install lifts in buildings to aid access (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Two years ago the ayuntamiento launched a programme to subsidise 60 percent of the cost of installing a lift in households with four or more floors if the building communities agreed. Around nearly 600 buildings, built before 1960 who have already had the work done or are scheduled to have it started, a figure of around 14 percent of those eligible. Mayor Jordi Hereu deemed the scheme a great success which has led him to ensure that, despite the crisis, during 2011 the aid will continue with an extra €15 million being added to the scheme. The plan covers up to 60 percent of the cost of installation in blocks of four or more stories with a maximum €45,000 and a household cap of €6,000 with an additional possibility of additional aid, up to 100 percent, for families with limited resources. Since the programme launch, 980 requests have been accepted in 14,314 buildings, some which must be external due to the nature of the stairwell. The average time of installment is 15 months from the request and works have been completed in 578, with 169 buildings begun.
Newspaper editors and private TV companies criticise the electoral law (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Both the Asociación de Editores de Diarios Españoles (AEDE) and the Unión de Televisiones Comerciales Asociadas (Uteca) claim that if the text is modified within the law during its processing then it cuts press freedom. On Friday, the parliamentary groups, PSOE, PP, CiU and PNV presented at Congress a proposed reform on the Organic Law on General Elections (Loreg) which states that the newspapers can publicize polls in the five days running up to every election and establishes criteria of proportionality in the electoral information on television as the governing public broadcasting. Newspaper editors believe that if the text is passed "it would undermine the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and the press's right to information." For AEDE, the amendment of the law "opens the door for the Administration to interfere in the selection of news content, done by professionals in private media and would condition their work." The proposal to reform the law would force private TV to "respect the principles of proportionality and neutrality of information in the electoral debates and interviews, as well as information on the election campaign. Uteco noted that the statute imposes information guides within the media and "has no parallel in comparative law within formal democracies with separation of powers and freedom of press."
The Generalitat has recommended a ban on the burqa in schools (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). In a guide published by the Generalitat it has been recommended that the use of headscarves that cover the face, such as the burqa, is inappropriate in schools, "because it can interfere with learning and communication between students." However, scarves that cover the head, such as the hijab should be permitted. It went on to say that "Fighting the submission of women or against the imposition of religion in schools are commendable actions but they can not be done at the expense or causing injury to a child or person such as the lack of education." The guide insists that scarves that cover the entire face "are harmful because they hinder vision and movement of the head, arms and hands of the wearer and that they obscure the face, an important factor in social relationships and education. The guide presented by the Generalitat also recommends that school take advantages of the celebrations of the various religions of the students to explain religious diversity.