FC Barcelona was unable to break through the defence put up by Inter de Milán at the Camp Nou last night in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final and only managed to score one goal, which was not sufficient to see them to the final in Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium in May (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Despite playing against just 10 men for much of the game, following the explusion of defender Thiago Motta in the 28th minute, Barça player Gerard Piqué scored the team’s only goal six minutes from the end of the match, giving brief hope to fans that they might be able to get the second goal they needed to qualify for the May 22nd final, but it was not to be. A goal scored in extra time by Bojan Krkic was disallowed because of a hand-ball incident by team-mate Touré Yayá. Under the management of José Mourinho, Inter opted for an ultra-defensive strategy (which was enhanced by the sending-off of former Barça player Motta), which ultimately paid off, as Barcelona clearly dominated the ball but were unable to penetrate the wall put up by the Italian team, apart from Piqué’s strike and Bojan's disallowed effort. The Camp Nou was almost full to capacity as supporters responded to the calls from the team to come along and cheer them on, and the atmosphere at the stadium remained positive right to the end of the match. Now the only trophy left available to the team this season is the Spanish league, where it currently has a slim one-point lead over rivals Real Madrid, who are also chasing their sole option at a title for the season.
The Catalan parliament is due to approve today a resolution for the defence of the Catalan Statute through the final stages of its consideration by the Spanish Constitutional Court (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The Catalan president, José Montilla, and leader of the opposition CiU party met yesterday morning to discuss the common accord between the governing tripartite coalition and CiU. Problems had arisen in discussions over the matter after the party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, one third of the government, said that it wasn’t going to sign the agreement although it said that it wouldn’t vote against it. The leader of ERC, Joan Puigcercós, said that the party had made the decision not to sign up to the agreement, which is seeking action in the face of the inability of the current Spanish Constitutional to reach a sentence regarding appeals brought against the wording of the new version of the Statute, because it represented “a lot of noise without achieving anything.”
The Catalan government has decided to take legal action against the distribution of leaflets produced by the municipal group of the Partido Popular in Badalona, which contained images and text linking Romanian immigrants with crime and insecurity (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The leaflets were handed out in the town, which neighbours Barcelona to the north, by the leader of the PP in Badalona, Xavier Garcia Albiol, with the president of the Catalan branch of the PP, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho. The latter has apologised for the incident and decided that it is already closed, without making it clear whether she will take any action against Albiol. However, on Monday, the councillor for Social Action of the Generalitat, Carme Capdevila, indicated that her department was considering legal action in light of the publicity material—following a report issued on the matter, it has been referred to the office of the public prosecutor to see if there is penal responsibility in the case.
Also in the news: Standard and Poor gives Spanish debt a more negative rating, but says that it is far from the situations in Greece and Portugal (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Mallorcan mountain-climber dies on Himalayan mountain of Annapurna (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Magistrate in charge of court case against Baltasar Garzón steps aside temporarily after Garzón brings appeal against the magistrate’s alleged ‘direct or indirect interest in the case‘ (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico)