Negotiations between AENA and air traffic control unions continue as AENA offer an average annual salary of €200,000 (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Talks continue today as thousands of passengers are left in suspense as to when the strike will occur, as union leaders are refusing to announce the date of the strike as a negotiating strategy. However, AENA did announce yesterday that representatives of the company have reached agreement on several of its claims after an afternoon of talks, but an announcement from AENA at 9.30pm last night told that talks would continue today, although they revealed that they had agreed to several requests from the USCA regarding salary increases and comparable working conditions with their European counterparts. AENA has also offered an average salary of €200,000 to inspectors until 2013, provided that work is carried out "in full normality" and without absenteeism. Before the government made changes, the salary was thought to be €350,000. AENA have also accepted a request to adjust working hours. Finally, they have vowed to include health insurance in the wage bill of 2010 and encouraged further training. The tourist industry said yesterday that even the mere threat of strike means losses due to losing late bookings.
Cadaqués gives the green light to constructing a luxury hotel by Custo despite fears from environmentalists (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). Angel Custodio Dalmau, the designer and owner of the Custo brand, got the go ahead last Friday, despite fears from environmentalists that it will spoil the look of the emblematic town and affect the landscape. The hotel is to be built in the Sa Guarda area of the town. The mayor of Cadaqués, Joan Borrell (ERC), said that the hotel is to be built on one level and lined with dry stone and a height restriction of five metres, in order to cause the least amount of damage to the area. Representatives of the group Salvem Cadaqués, have said that "If it offers quality, doesn't contravene any rules on height, architecture or landscape, then it does not bother us if there is a hotel." But expressed concern over the proposed houses that are being planned for the area as well and how this will affect the infrastructure of the town which at present has only 3,000 inhabitants. 15 years ago, the landowners of the area of Sa Guarda, nearly 150,000 square metres of rural countryside put in motion the process to reconstruct the land. The first proposal included the construction of 104 homes with a total maximum area of 22,495 metres square, this spent years in development with the procedure ending in March when the Commission of Urban Planning approved a new proposal. The 104 houses are still to be built but at a reduced size so that the hotel can be included. This latest modification has upset some residents of the municipality as the hotel is to be built in two green areas. The green light for the development, which was passed unanimously by the Consistorio, was granted just days after demanding the total demolition of a Club Med resort, also in Cadaqués.
Following a govenmental decree Catalan schools are now free to self-organise their time and curriculum (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The passing of a decree that allows individual schools in Catalunya to run their own curriculum means that from the forthcoming school year they may mix students of different ages, teach new courses and organise time and materials independently. The new decree is a key part of the recently adopted Ley de Educación de Catalunya (LEC) which aims to give more powers to individual teams so that they can decide on matters relating to pedagogic, organisational and management skills. Josep Huguet, the Generalitat councilor of Universities, Innovation and Enterprise, has defended the autonomy and evaluation of results as "fundamental" elements for the efficiency of public money to the current shortage of resources. In addition, schools will decide on the use of spaces in schools, the allocation of classes to teachers and staffing. The ultimate goal is to improve performance and the educational outcomes of students. The Conselleria will have to provide resources, support, advice and training. The government have also agreed on a decree for the teaching of nought-three year olds, allowing for the first time, specific teaching for the first stage of early childhood. The current form encompasses children aged between nought to six.