The UN have chosen ex mayor Joan Clos to head up the cities agency (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Joan Clos' candicacy was backed by Ban Ki-moon and comes four years after his hasty departure from the ayuntamiento. The UN General Assembly elected Clos, currently the Spanish ambassador in Turkey as their executive director of the agency which specialises in agency management and development of human settlements (UN-Habitat). Clos' bid was back by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon but was approved unanimously by the 192 members of the conclave without the need to go to vote. Clos, 61 will replace Tanzanian Anna Tibaijuka on October 18th at the agency base in Nairobi. In the final opinion poll made three months prior to his appointment as minister, Clos was rated fourth (of five) of the highest rated municipal leaders, three tenths of Xavier Trias, who was third after Jordi Portabella (ERC) and Imma Mayol (ICV-EUiV).
The wave of tourists in Barcelona has caused an invasion of coaches and buses and has lead to the council launching an information campaign about the 15 official stops and car parks (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The international success of the Catalan capital as a tourist destination has resulted in hundreds of coaches invading the city which has increased complaints by residents about noise, pollution and limited mobility in their neighbourhoods. Of the 24.5 million annual visitors that come to the city it is estimated that just over half are day-trippers. European tour operators and cruise tourists combine with the tourist buses to cause jams and an accumulation of vehicles in tourist spots. The complaints received vary from affected mobility, difficulty in finding parking, traffic jams and the dangers of exhaust fumes due to some drivers leaving their motors running exceeding the time limit. Plaça de Catalunya is a particularly bad spot as it is the epicentre for day trip coaches, many cruise ship buses, plus those of TMB and the tourist tour buses. Many of the 15 stops provided by the council are being overwhelmed at points during the day. Mindful of the chaos the ayuntamiento reorganised the spaces for coaches two years ago, and last year increased the number of clearly signaled stops. This year they have completed the operation with an information campaign consisting of brochures and maps that are distributed to drivers and tour companies.
José Montilla says the PP does not accept Catalan as the language of Catalunya (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The president of the Generalitat accused the Popular Party of hindering the bid for self-government and blamed the party for not thinking that Catalan is Catalunya's own language. In an interview to TV-3, Montilla criticised Alicia Sánchez-Camancho, president of the Catalan PP about her bid to appeal the Código de Consumo at the TC for the language fines that entered into force on Monday. Montilla is quoted as saying "It seems that the PP has a problem with Catalan: they do not accept that it is the native language of Catalunya. The laws in the Código de Consumo of the Ley de Acogida de Inmigrantes are just, sensible and constitutional. Montilla declined to say when the election will be called but reiterated his desire to claim a more "active" role in the defense of self-government. Later in the interview he spoke with contempt over the 'right to decide' term used by nationalists and now the ICV, which proposes a referendum on a Catalan self-government model. Pasqual Maragall, ex president of the Generalitat has given his support to the idea. His successor, Montilla said "I do not understand what Maragall has said. "People can chose the day of the election. The right to decide, I practice every day."