For the first time the Generalitat has prohibited correbous (read article in Castilian here, El País). For the first time the Generalitat have banned four correbous in the municipality of Camarles in a move that has sparked outrage amongst residents. The local council had planned to hold festivities this week to commemorate the independence of the municipality but the Generalitat has denied permission to hold such events. Miquel Ferré, president of the Agrupación de Peñas y Comisiones Taurinas de las comarcas del Ebro said of the move, "we accept the law but not them taking the Mickey out of us. The rule was adopted to defend the correbous not to be used to veto them. It is a totally incorrect interpretation of the law and the Generalitat should correct it." Lluís Salvadó, (ERC) who personally handled the petition from the Consistorio de Camarles said, "the law is very clear and we can not tolerate these correbous". The ban has reopened fears that the future of these encierros following the ban on bullfighting. "After the bulls, some insisted that they also ban correbous, " says, Miquel Ferré. He went on to say that he is hopeful that the correbous will be saved, saying "I have a very personal letter signed by the future president, Artur Mas, who is committed to saving them. We are hopeful." Ferré and the Ayuntamiento of Camarles announced they will be holding a press conference on Friday to announce measures that aim to relaunch the battle for the correbous. "Even if some people might be bothered by them, the correbous are a Catalan tradition that should never disappear. We thought the matter had been resolved but now the battle has begun again."
Barcelona has been nominated for the Accessibility Award 2010 and is now seen as a reference for urban adaptation for the disabled (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardía). Ricard Gomà, deputy mayor for the Acció Social i Ciutadana said of the nomination, "This is has been a journey of more than 30 years, one that has been driven by political will and the extraordinary work of associations". Carme Riu, of the advisory board for the Institut Municipal de Persones amb Discapacitat (IMD) said, Barcelona is a one of the most accessible cities in Europe." She speaks from experience. Disabled since she was 7 years old, she said that the city has come on in leaps and bounds but it still presents problems for the disabled, "I could not get on a bus until 1992, but I have a list of what still needs to be done. The buses are adapted but not all the stops." In Barcelona, all buses, minibuses and trams are fully accessible, as are some taxis and most of the metro network but independent access to some of the carriages is not well solved." TMB has spent years adapting stations and recently approved a plan for universal accessibility so that all metro stations should be adapted by 2014. Another improvement currently underway is the installation of acoustic traffic lights. As well as boating better lighting technology, they have incorporated auditory system for the blind. It is expected that by May, around 600 intersections in the city, of a total of 1,670, will have the system.
Calls for tougher controls and policing against gangs have been made against what some are saying is a growing phenomenon (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Senior police and patrol officers believe that a rise in violence between the gangs should lead to a reassessment of the strategy needed to control this new phenomenon. A new, harder line is being sought by the Direcció General de la Policia which acknowledges publicaly for the first time, that gangs are one of the major threats to security in the streets. According to a middle ranking officer from the Mossos d'Esquadra., "gangs are a serious problem in Catalunya. But many police patrolling the city have the impression that those higher up want to play down or even deny the importance of the problem." David Miquel, spokesman for the Sindicat de Policies de Catalunya (SPC) says, "we have a serious problem with Latino gangs, not just with a few violent youths. The sooner we recognise this and give more training to patrols the sooner we can cope. Previously the approach has been more cautious, so as not to criminalise the entire Latin youth and to avoid alarmist statements in the media. However, this policy, which gave relatively good results within gangs such as the Latin Kings and the Netos, has been overwhelmed by the emergence of violent groups such as the Maras, the Trinitarios or the Bloods.