Hollywood film distributors and the Generalitat's culture department have reached a preliminary agreement that should once more see between 35 and 40 major films dubbed into Catalan each year (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The first film to be released in Catalan as well as Castilian under the accord is the last Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, due for its premiere here on July 15th; other blockbusters lined up to be translated include The Smurfs, Tintin and J.J. Abrams's Super 8. As such, the conflict between the Generalitat and Hollywood studios over the issue of dubbing films has ostensibly come to an end, although the negotiations are yet to be finalised. According to Luis Hernández de Carlos, president of the Federation of Cinematographic Distributors (Fedicine), which represents the major Hollywood studios, "we have returned to the starting 'box office'." This means that an earlier, non-written agreement has been re-established between Fedicine and the Generalitat to dub a number of 'blockbuster' films into Catalan each year (the number is not officially fixed, but it should be between 35 and 40). This agreement was broken unilaterally by Fedicine last year after the passing of the Catalan Cinema Law, leaving cinemas without the ability to show Hollywood films in Catalan. The law established that, in the future, 50 percent of foreign films shown in Catalunya had to be dubbed or subtitled in Catalan.
The amount of pickpocketing on the Barcelona metro continues to increase, with the criminals increasingly acting without scruples or much effort to hide what they're doing, knowing that they are likely to go unpunished for their actions (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). In 2010, the Mossos d'Esquadra received 22,000 complaints about robberies on the metro, about 60 a day. And surprisingly, according to security guards who work on the underground system, many tourists don't actually want to report such robberies to the police. Metro employees and the private security guards who work there say that the pickpockets (who tend to always be the same people and are familiar faces to those working on the metro) are increasingly self-confident and with fewer scruples about making threats to or assaulting anyone who tries to stop them. "A female employee at Drassanes was assaulted by a group of pickpockets which had caught her attention," explained Carlos González, of the UGT trade union. "Following the attack and the threats, the metro company had to move the worker to another location." Despite this, the Mossos say that violence during such robberies is present in less than two percent of these incidents.
The president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, reiterated yesterday that his Convergència i Unió (CiU) party is not interested in making formal pacts with any other parliamentary party to reach an absolute majority (read article in Catalan here, Avui). This is despite the difficulties that CiU is having in getting agreements when it needs to from members of the other parties in the Catalan parliament for each legislative project that it wants to pass. Mas defended his determination to get the "widest possible consensus" for the "basic" issues facing Catalunya, such as identifying the best way out of the current crisis. Mas was responding to a comment from the leader of the opposition Catalan Socialist party, Joaquim Nadal, who said that the policy of '"variable geometry (the name that Mas has given to his scheme of making ad hoc accords rather than one permanent one) in politics sometimes ends up with chaos, and I propose that he [Mas] thinks about it and makes a choice."