Analogue television will be switched off today in Catalunya once and for all, with a total of 20 million people across Spain seeing their television service switch solely to digital between today and Friday (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Today, both Barcelona and Madrid will see their analogue broadcasts turned off—in Barcelona, the analogue signal has been broadcast from the emblematic Collserola tower. According to the Spanish Industry Ministry, 90.5 percent of Spanish homes have got access to televisión digital terrestre (TDT) either through a terrestrial signal or through a paid platform (satellite, cable or ADSL), while 93 percent of homes have had their antennas adapted to receive digital broadcasts. Anyone that has a problem viewing the television once the analogue signal is switched off here will have a few days to sort it out before the holiday weekend begins on Friday, otherwise they will have to wait until after Easter to deal with the problem. However, the man in charge of the switch-over, Andrés Armas, says that any problems should be minimal and that the only issues will arise with a small number of “absent-minded” people who haven’t done their homework on the matter and not arranged for their antenna to be converted and/or haven't bought themselves a digital decodifier.
The mayors of the towns affected by the power cut in Girona province following the heavy snowfall earlier this month have asked for an urgent meeting with the Generalitat (read article in Catalan here, Avui). During a meeting held for the mayors yesterday afternoon, in which about 50 alcaldes took part, complaints were raised about the electricity companies while demands were made directed towards the Generalitat. The president of the Federation of Catalan towns, Manuel Bustos, explained in a press conference after the meeting that the mayors regarded the electricity service as deficient and that Endesa’s response to the crisis had been insufficient. As such, they are supportive of the government’s proposal to impose sanctions on the electricity companies because of the cut in supply. Bustos also stated that the financial aid approved by the Catalan government to help the towns deal with the after-effects of the power cut were “clearly insufficient”, and as such the group is seeking a meeting as soon as possible with the Generalitat to talk about the management of the resources. They also want an audit of the power network and the state of local forests.
A 24-year-old man, of African origins, was stabbed to death yesterday afternoon in Carrer Carme in the Raval neighbourhood of Barcelona (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The man, who hasn’t been named, was stabbed in the heart and taken to the Hospital Clinic, where he died from his injuries, despite the efforts of medical staff to save his life. The Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police) have already arrested the suspected killer and there are suggestions that the confrontation was caused by a disagreement amongst different African ethnic groups. Witnesses stated that the murdered man emerged injured from number 39 of Carrer Carme, with blood around his neck; in the street, he fell to the ground at which point two men, who had followed him out of the building, checked his pockets and took what they could find without providing him with any assistance. Last week, in the same street, there was a quarrel between various men of African origin, which resulted in three of them being injured.
Also in the news: ‘2000E’ financial aid for those buying new car in doubt (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Continuing investigation into contract with lobbying firm for awarding Congress Medal to former Spanish president, José Maria Aznar (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Barcelona hospital carries out third Spanish face transplant (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico)