The president of the Spanish Constitutional Court, María Emilia Casas, has called for respect for the court in the face of what she said was an “intolerable campaign of disparagement” (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Casas said “certain political and media sectors” were behind the “disproportionate” campaign, going on to say that while there was room for reasoned and reasonable criticism towards the resolutions of the Constitutional Court, “interested and irrational” criticism was not acceptable. “I’ve always asked for respect for the important role that the court plays… Now I have to ask once more for respect of the institution and the people who carry out the exercise of constitutional jurisdiction there.” There have been recent protests from various Catalan parties about the fact that, amongst the court members currently considering appeals brought over three years ago against the new version of the Catalan Statute, are four judges whose mandate ran out in November 2007. The governing and main opposition Catalan parties are thus seeking a renewal of its members, a call that the leading Spanish parties (who have responsibility for nominating the court’s members) have refused to consider while the court is still contemplating the appeals.
The Generalitat is studying whether to bring a formal legal complaint against the municipal Partido Popular (PP) group in the town of Badalona for allegedly inciting racial hatred through a leaflet that it has produced (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Catalan government’s minister for Social Action and Citizenship, Carme Capdevila, said that the legal services section of her department is studying the leaflet, which makes a connection between immigration and insecurity, and blames many of the crimes committed in Badalona directly on Romanian immigrants. Capdevila said the contents of the leaflet demonstrated “serious political irresponsibility.” The leaflet has a cover photograph showing two immigrants with a scarf covering their heads and text asking ‘Is your neighbourhood safe?’. Inside, the leaflet shows a collage of different photos including one of a poster on some iron railings with the words ‘We don’t want Romanians’. In the publicity material, the PP group promises more security for Badalona.
Barcelona council is to start a campaign against ‘semi-nudity’ in the city’s streets (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). With the arrival of warm, sunny weather in recent days, some tourists have been spotted taken advantage of the favourable conditions to stroll topless, or with scant clothing, through the streets of Barcelona or at its main landmarks, such as Parc Güell. For the first time, this year the city council has said that it will take action against this familiar summer characteristic in Barcelona, with campaigns and recommendations about appropriate dressing. They won’t instigate fines or special municipal laws over the matter, and the Guardia Urbana won’t be focusing on those inappropriately dressed, but the idea is to remind tourists that they are visiting a large city rather than a coastal village. The councillor for Prevention and Security, Assumpta Escarp, said “It’s necessary to demonstrate what are the rules for coexistence [between tourists and residents].” The council is now exploring what measures to employ to get across their message about recommended clothing.
Also in the news: Barça could fill two Camp Nous with all those who want to see tomorrow’s crucial game against Inter (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); El Bulli loses first place in Restaurant’s list of world’s top 50 restaurants (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); New round of popular votes on Catalan independence set for May and June (read full article in Catalan here, Avui).