Catalan president Artur Mas has returned from his first official meeting with Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with an authorisation for the Generalitat to issue debt worth up to €2,500 million (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The move will be taken within the next few days or weeks and is aimed to help the Catalan government deal with its high budgetary deficit that has left the finances of the entity in a delicate situation. The issue will have a long-term duration and will be made before the council of fiscal policy approves the stability plan presented by the Generalitat's economic department in March. Further issues may be made in the future, according to Mas. He also said that Zapatero had been receptive to the debt plan thanks to the plans of the Generalitat to cut its costs by 10 percent. In addition, the Spanish government will pay €759 million that is outstanding from the agreed 2008 budget for investment in infrastructures. However, Zapatero refused to advance this year the €1 billion that Catalunya is owed from a competitiveness fund.
A new left-wing Basque nationalist political party has been created with the name 'Sortu' (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). It will be officially baptised today with the statutes of the political formation being presented tomorrow at Spanish Interior Ministry's Register of Political Parties in Madrid. Representatives of the new party, Rufi Exteberia and Iñigo Iruin, formally announced the statutes in an event yesterday, where the two also said that the party completely rejects ETA and that it won't become an outlet for the terrorist organisation. Rather, its statutes reject violence as a means for political action or method to achieve political objectives. Sortu means to grow in Basque.
A film featuring the popular Catalan children's characters 'the Three Triplets' (Les Tres Bessones) is to be made seven years after the last cartoons starring the three little girls were made (read article in Catalan here, Avui). More than 100 episodes featuring Anna, Helena and Teresa were made by Catalan Television and Cromosoma, making it one of the longest-running such series in Europe. They've been translated into 35 languages and shown in 158 countries around the world. Now an old project to bring the girls to the big screen looks like it will finally become a reality. Producer Daniel Martínez has confirmed that award-winning Catalan director Cesc Gay will co-direct the movie with Baltasar Pedrosa. As Gay doesn't have experience working with animation, it was decided that there should be two directors so that they can combine their experiences of working in different formats. The project to create Les Tres Bessones i la maquina del món, which has a budget of €5.9 million, is currently in the pre-production stage, with the plan for it to be in cinemas in 2013.