The Spanish government is today celebrating the decision of the Supreme Court for declaring illegal the new Basque political party Sortu (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The ruling by the court means that the party will not be able to run in the upcoming municipal elections, taking place across Spain on May 22nd. The court judged that, despite what party members have claimed, Sortu is a continuation of the outlawed Batasuna party and that it is at the service of the terrorist group ETA. The decision of the court was decided by a majority, rather than a unanimous decision, with at least three judges voting against it; this is the first time that the court has been unable to reach a unanimous decision in such cases deciding on the fate of Basque left-wing parties. Sortu can now appeal against the ruling to the Constitutional Court and, as such, try to be ready for the May elections.
A Catalan Muslim leader has warned Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero that he faces his own version of March 11th, 2004, when terrorist bombs on Madrid commuter trains killed 191 people and injured hundreds more (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Abdennur Prado is president of the Junta Islámica Catalana and has written an article issuing the threat to the prime minister published on the internet, specifically a blog belonging to the communication section of the Junta (webislam.com). The piece was entitled 'You will have your 11-M', and responded to the involvement of Spain in the current offensive in Libya. Prado claimed that this action could result in serious repercussions in Spain, saying that "every bomb that falls on Libya and kills innocent civilians, with Spanish help, is a repeat of 11-M." He said that "even though God didn't want it to happen", it would, although he gave no specifics about when or what shape such an incident might take. Following the publication of his threat, Prado issued a clarifying note saying that he didn't mean that a terrorist attack on Spanish soil would take place, rather that the term '11-M' signifies to the Spaniards the worst thing that they can imagine happening, ie. the massacre of innocent civilians. He also added that he didn't believe that 11-M was an Islamist attack.
The Catalan Corporation of Audiovisual Media (CCMA) is to bring all its companies within a single entity as part of its programme to improve efficiencies and management optimisation, which was approved yesterday by its board (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The plan, which will effect the Catalan public television company TV3 and Catalunya Radio, will also see a cut in salaries of five percent and get rid of certain management positions. The hope is that these moves will reduce the financial needs of the corporation while maintaining the quality of its output. In future, there will be a single employment agreement across the organisation for deciding salary increases and other working conditions. Another part of the plan approved yesterday, is the reduction in the number of premises that the corporation has, including the transfer of personnel from the current headquarters of the CCMA in Ganduxer to another location, and sell other property that it owns, while streamlining the regional offices of both TV3 and Catalunya Radio. It is also considering the transfer of Catalunya Radio to the TV3 headquarters in Sant Joan Despí.