The price of buying a property in Spain continues to fall, with the cost of purchasing an apartment or house here dropping by almost five percent in the first quarter of this year compared to 2010 (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). This means that the square metre price of buying property here is now at 2005 levels, around €1,777, according to figures from the Spanish ministry of public works. Overall in 2010, prices fell by 3.5 percent, while since the peak of the housing market in Spain, the cost of property has so far fallen by 15.4 percent. The most extreme decrease in prices happened in 2009, when they dropped by over eight percent.
El Celler de Can Roca in Girona has been named the second-best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). In its annual list of the 50 top restaurants, the British publication again named Danish restaurant Noma as number one, but El Celler, which is run by the Roca brothers, Joan, Josep and Jordi, jumped from the fourth position to second. El Celler has filled the place that last year was taken by Ferran Adrià's El Bulli restaurant (which was named number one during five consecutive years from 2005 to 2009); as El Bulli is closing its doors at the end of this season, Adrià asked that it not be considered for the listing this year. Other successes in the list for Spanish restaurateurs include Andoni Luis Aduriz, whose restaurant Mugaritz in San Sebastian took the third spot, while the father and daughter team of Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak saw their eatery Arzak, also in San Sebastian, rise one place to eighth. "These prizes mean that Spanish cooking is still important," said Joan Roca yesterday during the prize-giving ceremony at London's Guildhall. "It's the confirmation of the star left by Ferran Adrià, to whom we all owe something. Now it's been confirmed that that revolution was not just something in passing."
The Catalan Department of the Interior has announced an increased security programme for tomorrow night's final of the Copa del Rei between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in Valencia (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The anti-riot department of the Catalan police has incorporated a new form of firearm that shoots rubber bullets (the Brimo, said to be more precise and less likely to cause injury than other rubber bullet shooters) and will also undertake a system of controlling access to Plaça Catalunya and the Font de Canaletes on the Ramblas, where fans of Barça traditionally go to celebrate their team's victories; the police will be checking the items that people going these areas have on them and looking for any that are deemed dangerous. The measures, similar to those used for New Year's Eve, will kick in from the start of the match, at 9.30pm and will be in place into the early hours of Thursday. Over 600 agents of the Mossos will be on duty tomorrow night, including a considerable number of plain-clothed agents, which is the first time that the anti-riot police will be allowed to use the Brimo if they deem it necessary. However, commissioner Sergi Pla said that the use of rubber bullets were the "last resort option", in the event that the Mossos can't disperse the crowds from Canaletes in any other way.