Barcelona airport - Terminal 2
The Generalitat yesterday presented its plans to improve and renovate the transport infrastructure in Catalunya over the next eight years or so (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The list of works, which actually applies to the years 2009 to 2018, is an advance of the formal projects that could be carried out during the coming years, and so only includes estimated costs rather than a proper budget for the work that the Catalan government wants to carry out. Among the main proposals is an increase of 355 kilometres in the train lines (including metro, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat, tram and local trains) serving the metropolitan area. The projected cost of such works is around €25,000 million and some of them are actually plans from the last transport plan, covering the years 2001 to 2009, that have not yet been undertaken or completed—this means that some 60 percent of the items contained on the list announced yesterday had already been planned.
FC Barcelona meet Inter de Milan this evening following a journey of around 24 hours to get to the Italian city (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The first leg of the semi-final of the Champions League sees the team face their old nemesis José Mourinho as well as former Barça player Samuel Eto’o in the first stage of a fight for a coveted place in the final in Madrid on May 22nd—Barça and Milan already met in the first round of this year’s Champions League, with the Catalan team triumphing over the Italians. FC Barcelona was forced to travel to Milan by coach, because of the current problems with flights in Europe, and they arrived yesterday at 2.15pm, almost 24 hours after their left Barcelona and following an overnight stop on Sunday in Cannes. While some of the players were clearly tired after the trip, the team went through a longer training session than normal to deal with the after-effects of the journey.
Barcelona’s El Prat airport has become a key destination for international flights whose scheduled arrival point remains closed due to the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Airline companies and tour operators are diverting their planes to Barcelona, bringing both passengers and goods to the Catalan capital, from where they can continue their journey to the north of Europe, to countries including Sweden, Norway and Germany, by road. However, once the planes have dropped off their passengers and/or cargo, they head back to their destination empty, rather than being able to take advantage of the stop-off to carry back travellers or products. Yesterday, 72 passenger flights were diverted to Barcelona, mainly to Terminal 2, and six cargo planes; they came from a variety of countries, including the US, Egypt, Russia and Turkey. Girona airport was used as a landing-point for diverted flights coming from Hong Kong, Turkey and the Dominican Republic.
Also in the news: Catalan socialists clash with Spanish party over changing members of Constitutional Court (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Fireman says there is missing tape evidence in the report on last summer's Horta forest fires (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Three Muslim girls suspended from school in Alarcón for wearing a veil in support of another student already suspended for the same reason (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico).