The European Union has authorized the Generalitat to provide financial aid to film distributors up to 2015 to help with the increased amount of films that will need to be dubbed into or subtitled with Catalan according to a new law (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The Generalitat wants to direct €12 million towards the scheme (which has been approved by the government but is waiting for parliamentary approval) over the next six years to help cinema distributors cover the additional costs of offering 50 percent of new films in Catalan, and yesterday the EU approved the budgetary proposal, having already last year given its support to the Generalitat’s decision to pass the law. EU legislation doesn’t allow for direct financing of private companies with public funds if this will cause a negative effect on free competition; however, grants to promote cultural diversity and multi-lingualism are an exception to this rule hence the EU giving a green light to this move. While the European Comission has said it understands that many distributors are reluctant to spend money on dubbing and subtitling when Catalans also understand Castilian, but it has criticised the disequilibrium between the 800 films that are dubbed into Castilian every year and the 20 to 25 that are dubbed into Catalan and additional 10 to 15 which are subtitled in that language.
The board of the Spanish Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, will meet today to study a proposal to proclaim null and void the trial that saw Generalitat president Lluís Companys condemned to death by a war council in 1940 (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). This meeting has been arranged by the Office of Public Prosecution in response to a petition from the Generalitat and the grand-daughter of Companys to have the trial annulled by the Supreme Court. If, as is hoped for, the trial is directly annulled, rather than made subject to a revision, it will be in application of the Law of Historical Memory and will not need any further judicial processes to be undertaken. The courts have produced reports on the matter where they have investigated comparable historical instances of annulling trials, such as those applied in Germany regarding certain sentences passed by courts during the Nazi period. The aim of today’s meeting is to declare that the war council that judged Companys just after the end of the Spanish Civil War—when he had been captured in France by the Gestapo and sent back to Spain and to Franco’s forces—had no legal power: in the 1940 war council, all the property of Companys was embargoed and he was sentenced to death, a sentence later carried out by firing squad. The process of applying to the Supreme Court for this annulment has been deemed preferable to seeking a revision process, because this would correspond to the Supreme Military Court, whose jurisprudence on such matters is notoriously rigid; traditionally only those cases have been revised where new facts have proved that a sentence was produced due to a material error. However, in the case of Companys, there are no new facts to discuss, it’s rather a matter of rehabilitation that doesn’t require another trial. Lluís Companys is the only incumbent president of a European region to have been executed.
Twenty-four percent of Catalans have said that they would vote for a xenophobic political party (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico), while 48 percent believe that immigration is bad for the country (read more here, El Periodico). In a survey carried out for El Periodico newspaper, and when asked a specific question giving them the option to choose this party, the party Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC) received support from just under one in four of those questioned about voting intentions in the Generalitat elections; 7.5 percent of those asked said they would vote for PxC and 16.6 percent said that they could support it. PxC, led by Josep Anglada, is a party that has openly spoken out against immigration in Catalunya and called for strict control of those moving to the autonomous region. Anglada recently voiced support for the decision (later declared illegal) of the mayor of Vic to not register immigrants who didn’t have any residency papers.
Also in the news: Ciutat Vella council to crack down on places selling food to be eaten ‘on the street’ (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Spanair president withdraws pre-candidacy for presidency of FC Barcelona (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Barça struggles against Osona, but claims victory in second half (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia).