Congress is to vote today on whether work should stop on the AVE tunnel (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The director of UNESCO heritage for Europe and North America, the German doctor Mechtild Rossier said yesterday that the report ignores the very organisation that is trying to defend the tunnel that will run alongside the Sagrada Família, whilst Minister José Blanco used the report to defend the continuation of the works. The report is, according to Rossler, not signed by any technician from UNESCO, with only an illegible signature on the letter (attributed to Francesco Bandarin, director of the Heritage of Humanity Centre) - and also "absolutely contradicts" another study, made in the preliminary stages of the investigation. The only definitive text from UNESCO on the tunnel and the risk to the Sagrada Família is, according to Rossler, to be published in Brasilia during the meeting of the Committee for Heritage held between July 25th and August 3rd. The urgency of halting the work is made clear when you look at the current timetable. If Barcino drilled to the planned speed, the tunnel would pass by the facade of the Glòria de la Sagrada Família in September according to the last calculations made by construction company Adif. The PP party, whose civil engineering experts calculate the if you redirect the track by just another line it would increase the cost of the tunnel by €10 million and would delay the work by about 12 months. This calculation was rejected by the ministry who believes that the proposed change would lengthen the process by around 30 months.
Barcelona is to get 220 new mossos in a new promotion, with the aim of improving safety in the Catalunya (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The recent demand of the Barcelona Ayuntamiento to increase the mossos d'esquadro numbers by 1,400 is still far off but they are to receive 220 new agents, including new graduates. They represent 26.5 percent of the 830 graduates from the latest class which means that distribution slightly favours the city. The security debate was reopened in the city after incidents in February when there was a double murder and a shooting of two mossos. Regionally wide, with the latest graduates, the police force numbers 15,882, which represents around 2.11 officers per thousand residents. The Ayuntamiento of Barcelona have confirmed the objective of achieving a ratio of 2.5 officers per thousand residents. The Interior minister, Joan Saura, said yesterday that the Board of Catalan Security is set to continue to increase the number of agents to 18,300 by 2015 which they think are necessary to respond to all calls. Saura explained that the distribution of the new graduates was not just down to the extent of the territories and population but it is also related to the rates of crimes and the need to guard infrastructure, buildings and people.
The municipality are to employ mobile units and around 120 firefighters are to be on alert in the metropolitan areas during the Sant Joan festivities (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The metro is to remain open as will the tram service and Ferrocarrils but Bicing will close 18 stations from between 10pm and 5am because of incidents last year in which there were numerous broken and stolen bikes. Joan Pedreny, director of the Barcelona Fire Department presented yesterday the plans for the all-night holiday where 120 staff will be on call, similar to usual days but they will be situated in mobile vehicles. Justifying the deployment of staff he recalled that last year the department received around 700 calls and 160 call-outs. He said that the rush period starts between midnight and 1.30 am and the phones keep ringing until 8pm the following day. The city firefighters have been working for weeks to minimize the risks, working on three fronts, education in schools, with talks to students of all ages, the inspection of stalls selling firecrackers and inspecting the areas where fires are to be made in the countryside and moutains.
Also in the news: Antoni Castells, the Economic minister admits that the Palau hotel was processed without the mandatory report (read full article in Castilian
, El Pais). Spain defeat Honduras with a 2-0 victory but fail to make use of over 20 goal chances (read full article in Castilian
, La Vanguardia).