Nitrate pollution in underground water sources in Catalunya has increased in the last five years as a result of excessive use of certain fertilisers on farmland (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). As a result, the Generalitat has had to extend the number of ‘zones vulnerable to nitrates’ to indicate areas where the land is contaminated; there are now 12 such areas in Catalunya, which includes 421 towns, some 40 percent of those in the region. The pollutants could cause health problems to users if they got into the main watercourse, and the issue has seen the European Commission open an investigation into Spain, particularly Catalunya and several other autonomous communities.
The Modernista Hospital Sant Pau today opens its new casualty department (article in Catalan, Avui). The inauguration is part of a larger transfer of all the hospital’s health activities from the historic buildings, designed by Lluís Domènech i Muntaner, to a new complex that is double the size of the old one and has been built just behind the original ‘pavillions’. From today, all general, paediatric and gynaecological emergencies will be dealt with in the new department, accessible from Carrer Sant Quintí.
A report just issued by the Col·legi d’Agents de la Propietat Immobiliària de Barcelona (API) says that the level of house sales in Barcelona could grow by up to 30 percent in the second half of this year (article in Castilian, El Periodico). House prices in Barcelona are now 20 percent lower than they were two years ago and the API report suggests that for those looking to purchase a property, the coming months could be the ideal time to take the plunge. The fall in prices is slowing and in some areas (Les Corts and Ciutat Vella), the price per square metre for a second-hand flat actually started to rise in the last quarter, by between two and three percent.
Also in the news: Tripadvisor reports that Barcelona has most pickpockets (video, La Vanguardia); Continued recriminations over fraud by Palau de la Música president (El Periodico); Catalan holy mountain features in video game (Avui)