Twelve newspapers in Catalunya have published the same editorial entitled ‘The dignity of Catalunya’, about the situation with the new version of the autonomous community’s Statute (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The idea behind the initiative is to bring the attention of Spanish public opinion to the issue of the long-awaited judgment of the Constitutional Court regarding the wording of the Catalan Statute, and the concerns of many here that the court will impose significant restrictions on the document. The text of the editorial calls on the Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) to respect the new Statute as it stands, because it has the support of two political institutions (both the Catalan Parliament and the Spanish Parliament) and has been sanctioned through referendum by Catalan voters. The 12 newspapers are: La Vanguardia, El Periódico de Catalunya, Avui, El Punt, Segre, Diari de Tarragona, La Mañana, Diari de Girona, Regió 7, El Nou 9, Diari de Sabadell and Diari de Terrassa. This is the first time in the history of Spanish and Catalan press that such an initative has been taken. Click here to read the editorial in English and Castilian
Spain won’t reach any of the objectives set by the European Union on education for 2010 (article in Avui). Instead in the past years, the country has seen its performance worsen in the majority of the key indicators that the European Commission has in place, such as the number of students who leave school early, according to a report presented yesterday. Other subjects that the EU is rating member countries on include the level of basic skills amongst pupils and the number of graduates in science and technology. Spain doesn’t meet any of the five objectives set for next year, whilst amongst other members, it is only in the matter of increasing the number of graduates that progress has been achieved. The number of young people leaving school early has risen in Spain from 29 percent to 32 percent in the last eight years, while the European average is 14.9 percent and the EU had aimed for member states to have a level of only 10 percent by 2010. In addition, only 60 percent of people aged between 20 and 24 have completed post-obligatory higher education, which is six points lower than in 2000 and 18 percent lower than the EU average; and more than 25 percent of 15-year-olds have an insufficient reading level, when the objective was for this number to be at 17 percent.
A study by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) has found that the local cinema industry could lose up to €19 million as a result of the proposed new law of Catalan cinema (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The law would mean that 50 percent of the films screened in Catalunya have to be either dubbed into or subtitled in Catalan. The UPF report indicated that both cinemas and distribution companies would be negatively affected by the implementation of this legislation, and that the loss of €19 million was the worst-case scenario that it foresaw for the industry; this amount represents almost 14 percent of the money earned by cinemas here in 2008. The study was commissioned by the Union of Cinema Businesses of Catalunya and the Federation of Cinema Distributors who are concerned that the law is one that seeks to promote language and does not take into account cinema or the industry, said Pilar Sierra, head of the Union of Cinema Businesses. The number of people going to the cinema in Catalunya has fallen in recent years: from 29.3 million tickets sold in 2003 to 22.3 million in 2008.
Also in the news: Girona restaurant awarded three Michelin stars (Avui); Nadal eliminated from London Masters (La Vanguardia); Three Catalan universities amongst the best in Spain (El Periodico)