Barcelona’s city council is not hiding its preference for converting the Avinguda Diagonal into a ‘boulevard’ style street as the week approaches for the public vote on the subject (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Although officially the two options for renovating the street (either as a boulevard with wide lateral pavements or as a rambla, with a wide central pedestrianised area) are equally regarded, it has become increasingly clear that the council favours option A, the boulevard; if this project was undertaken, it could see a tram line created to run the whole length of the Diagonal in the centre of the street. Yesterday, at a meeting between the Barcelona mayor, Jordi Hereu, and the city councilor in charge of Town Planning, Ramon García-Bragado, with a group of industrial engineers, clear indications were given in favour of the boulevard. García-Bragado said that the option A was the one that best respected the existing trees along the Diagonal (which he described as part of the genetic make-up of the street), and made the most of the central Barcelona road—he spoke for five minutes about the boulevard design, around five times longer than about the rambla. The final option, C, which would see the Diagonal remaining as it is now, wasn’t mentioned once during the meeting with the engineers, which took place at the Col·legi d’Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya. Resident of Barcelona will be able to vote on their preference amongst the three options between May 10th and 16th.
FC Barcelona is hoping for a definitive step forward in its attempt to win this year’s Spanish league title as it faces Tenerife at the Camp Nou this evening (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The team currently has 90 points, which is the highest ever achieved in the Spanish league, and yet it has not been declared victors, with the neck-and-neck race with rivals Real Madrid continuing following wins for both sides at the weekend. Today is the penultimate match to be played this season at the Camp Nou, with Tenerife visiting and kick-off due at 8pm. The team from the Canary Islands is currently in the relegation zone, which could signify an easier confrontation for Barça (they are separated by 55 points in the league), but trainer Pep Guardiola is remaining cautious—“we know that if we get all the points, we’ll be champions, but I don’t know what will happen, if we’ll come a cropper, or if they [Madrid] will.” He believes his team are “mentally prepared” for the final three matches of the league, but know that all their rivals, Tenerife, Seville and Valladolid, have something to play for as well, either against relegation or, in the case of Seville, for a place in next years Champions League. Real Madrid play at Mallorca tomorrow, which could be a difficult match for the visitors, with Mallorca, currently fourth in the league, only beaten twice at home this year, by Seville and Barça.
Twenty-seven provinces in the east and north of Spain remain on alert due to the weather conditions, with wind, rain, snow and high waves all causing problems (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (Spanish State Meteorologival Agency) says that the affected areas, which include Girona, Lleida and Tarragona in Catalunya, will also suffer a notable fall in temperatures. Girona and Tarragona are on alert for high winds and Girona is also on alert for rain and high waves; Lleida is on alert for the high level of rain expected to fall in the province. Throughout Catalunya today, the highest risk is expected to come from the continuing rain, while in the Pyrenees there could be persistent snowfall above 800 metres. Some areas could also see hail and thunderstorms.
Also in the news: Unemployment in Spain fell in April after nine months of rises (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Flood sees 100 families trapped at Fòrum following the Feria de Abril (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Water in some Catalan towns is more than 10 times more expensive than elsewhere in the region (read full article in Catalan here, Avui).