Half of all aspiring taxi drivers are foreign with 7.5 percent of the 697 potential drivers failing the basic language test (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). According to the Institut Metropolità del Taxi (IMT) a basic language test, introduced this year in response to the high level of foreigners wishing to become taxi drivers, is seeing a significant number failing the exam, which can be taken in either Castilian or Catalan. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum level in either language but it was revealed that 7.5 percent of those submitted to the basic test from a total of 697 aspiring drivers had failed. Sources at the Entidad Espacio de Inclusión y Formación (Eica), also revealed that out of all the participants all but one had chosen to be examined in Castilian, although regulation states that metropolitan taxi drivers must understand both languages. Spokesperson Antonia Salazar said that 80 percent of applicants were from Pakistan, with the rest of them from Morocco and Eastern European countries. Of those suspened drivers who failed to reach a basic level of either language most of them had been in Catalunya for between five and 10 years.
Around 1,500 residents in Lloret de Mar marched against the behaviour of tourists who last week threw bottles and other objects at police in the early hours of Monday and Thursday (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). During the past month Lloret de Mar has been the scene of serious disturbances by young foreigners on holiday. Marc Betran, an actor who was leading the march said, "We are demonstrating to show that we love Lloret de Mar and we don't want the bad image this gives us to be shown to the rest of Cataluyna, Spain and the world. Watched by tourists the protesters marched down the controversial avenida de Just Marlés, which is the location of the majority of the town's night clubs and bars, towards the Plaza del Ayuntamiento where they were greeted with applause from other neighbours. During last weeks disturbances around 20 people were arrested with some injuries occurring. The trouble is said to stem from tensions caused after the death of a 15 year-old boy, who was allegedly killed by a group of youths from Southern France. In a manifestation written by the residents they stated that "Lloret de Mar is not just people drinking, shouting and breaking furniture".
Cesc Fàbregas, who has newly signed to FC Barcelona, has spoken of his happiness to return to his former club but acknowledged that there might be some fans who are still unhappy at his departure (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Speaking at his presentation at the club Fàbregas said, "It's a very difficult challenge to come back. I know that many people are still hurt that I left. But I have come to give everything. I do not want to disappoint anyone. I have never stopped loving this club." FC Barcelona vice president, Josep Bartholomew detailed the exact figures it has taken to get Fàbregas back to Barça. He made clear the they paid €29 million for the transfer with an additional €5 million to be paid if they win two league titles and the Champions league during the five years that Cesc has signed for the club. The Catalan club will also pay one million euros each year for the next five seasons, all making clear the level of desire that FC Barcelona had to obtain the player. It is thought that Cesc might make his debut on Wednesday in the second leg of the Supercopa against Real Madrid.