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Many young people are camping out in Plaça Catalunya
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"They can 'clean' the square, but not our ideas."
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A man with a megaphone addresses one of the assemblies
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The participants have provided information for those who want to know more about what they're protesting about
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People of all ages have taken part in the activities
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Another discussion group in progress
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The protests have attracted the curious
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Familiar features of Plaça Catalunya have been transformed
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Protesting in the trees
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Following the police charge on Friday 27th May, signs criticising police brutality have appeared
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The protests have become renowned for their organisation and resources
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Plaça Catalunya is covered with signs like this 'without violence' one
Appearing before a parliamentary commission yesterday, the interior minister of the Generalitat, Felip Puig, didn't deliver the proof he said he has of violence on the part of protestors in Plaça Catalunya, which he says justified the police charge on May 27th (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). On various occasions since the incident, which took place one day before FC Barcelona's Wembley Champions League final, Puig has justified the police intervention against the protestors camped out in the city-centre square, saying that the police had previously suffered serious attacks and that there were images that proved such. However, yesterday he brought no such photos to back up his claims. Neither did Puig explain the conclusions reached in the internal investigation carried out by the police. During his three-and-a-half-hour appearance, Puig didn't admit any error in the actions of that day, apart from an "insufficient assessment of the levels of aggression and violence with which the protestors would react." Following his appearance before the commission, sources close to Puig insisted that in the images filmed of the incident by a police helicopter demonstrated the aggressiveness of the protestors. There had been a suggestion that a screen would be put up in Parliament to show them to the commission; however, this didn't happen and sources from the Interior ministry said that they didn't want to get into a "war of images or move away from the political debate". El Periodico (amongst other newspapers) has images on its website taken by six photojournalists of the events of May 27th.
The Spanish horticultural sector has said that the latest compensation offer from the European Commission (EC) for the 'cucumber crisis' is still inadequate (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The EC yesterday raised its planned compensation from €150 million to €210 million for European vegetable producers who have suffered losses as a result of the E.coli outbreak in northern Germany that has been variously blamed on Spanish cucumbers and German bean sprouts, amongst other products. The European commissioner of agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, said that this new amount should cover up to 50 percent of the losses experienced as a result of the fall in consumption of certain vegetables. A special meeting of the European agricultural ministers yesterday had proposed additional help of €150 million. However, the director-general of the Spanish Federation of Export Producers of Fruits and Vegetables (Fepex), José María Pozancos, said that it was not a question of talking about "help", but rather "compensation" for damages caused by the malfunction of the European institutions. Pozancos said that the situation had come about, initially, from "negligence" in the warning system and, afterwards, "total inefficiency" in the management of the crisis.
The mayor-elect of Barcelona, Xavier Trias of Convergència i Unió (CiU), has revealed who will fill the main posts of his council when he assumes the post on July 1st (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). To those who know him, Trias has a reputation for being good to those who are loyal to him; they say "he is a good friend to his friends." He also has a reputation for supporting and promoting younger members in CiU, and both these characteristics have shown up in his choice for the senior members of his new council. There will be five deputy mayors (tenencias de alcaldía), with four confirmed last night (Joaquim Forn, Sònia Recasens, Antoni Vives and Jaume Ciurana) with the final one still to be revealed. Another ally, Jordi Martí, won't be a teniente, but he will have an important role in the council, while a surprise appointment was Constantí Serrallonga, a one-time managing director of TMB and currently in charge of the company Agora Invest. None of the appointees are older than 46.