Turisme de Barcelona calls for AENA, the port, RENFE, Abertis and the Fira to help pay for campaigns (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). A debate over how should provide funds to promote tourism has emerged with private companies being asked to bear some of the costs. Joan Gaspart, the president of Turisme de Barcelona has launched a new proposal suggesting that "all companies making money, directly or indirectly from the presence of passengers in the city should also collaborate in the financing of tourism promotion." The request to expand the number of companies and institutions that finance the promotion of tourism in the city has not only the support of the hotel industry but with the municipality. Despite the refusal from the hotel industry there still remains a possibility to introduce a tourist tax, as confirmed yesterday by deputy mayor, Jordi William Carnes, speaking at a lunch organised by the Club de la Prensa Turística. Carnes noted that the creation of a tax could be "a tool to give the city a greater and more stable financial standing with regards to the promotion, care and management of tourism." The second deputy mayor, Ricard Gomà said of the controversial tax that it is "the priority alternative financing." Jordi Clos, president of the Guild of Hotels in Barcelona also raised the option that the city could keep a portion of the VAT generated by tourists during their stay in Barcelona.
The Paseo de Gràcia to open shops on December 2nd in a what will be the first Barcelona Shopping Night (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The public-private initiative will coincide with the lighting of the Christmas lights and is something that has already taken place in many other cities in Europe. The event will see shops stay open until 12pm and then give way to a party inside the shops, hotels and restaurants on the street. The Ayuntamiento and the Associació Amics del Passeig de Gràcia y la Asociación de Empresas de Retail de España (Amicca), wants to improve the international profile of Barcelona as a shopping city. Stores signed up to participate include Loewe, Calvin Klein, Guess, shops in the Rosa Boulevard, Vinçon and Mango. A tent organised by Harper's Bazaar magazine will host a party with celebrities. The Shopping Night is expected to become an annual event and expand its outreach to include Rambla Catalunya and the Portal de l'Àngel.
The District Attorney has opened investigations against eight mayors for waste water discharges (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The Deputy Attorney of the Medio Ambiente de Catalunya has opened proceedings in recent months against eight mayors in the municipalities of Tarragona and Barcelona. They have been accused of supposedly committed by discharging waste water into streams and rivers. Article in 325 of the Código Penal punishes such conduct with prison sentences ranging from six months to four years plus fines and disqualification from public office from one to three years. The mayors affected by the Prosecutor's investigations are those of Montbrió del Camp (Baix Camp), Constanti (Tarragona), Lliçà de Munt (Vallès Oriental), Dosrius (Maresme), Sentmenat (Vallès Occidental), Tivissa (Ribera d'Ebre ), and Sant Esteve Sesrovires Vallirana (both of Baix Llobregat). The basis of the prosecution is the same in all cases, the mayors have failed to fulfill their obligations with regard to sanitation, which is considered an unavoidable public service in the Basic Law on Local Government. Some of the investigations have been completed and have already resulted in lawsuits, which in turn have already been processed and are awaiting trials. In the case of Can Noguera the investigation has served to rectify the municipal action and stop the illegal discharges. The Federación de Municipios de Cataluña (FMC) have asked the Agencia Catalana del Agua to build infrastructure and waste water treatment plants needed to complete the drainage systems arguing that the mayors and local councils end up suffering the consequences, even judicial, for the lack of such equipment.