The former president of the Generalitat, Pasqual Maragall, believes that Artur Mas will become the president of Catalunya in the forthcoming elections (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Maragall's pronouncement is a surprise because he governed as the head of the Catalan Socialist party (PSC) whereas Mas is the candidate of the PSC's rival Convergència i Unió party (CiU). Maragall made his statement to a magazine of Convergència (one of the two parties that make up the CiU coalition), adding that he thinks that it is time for a change in the government of Catalunya. Maragall himself took over as president in 2003 from Convergència's Jordi Pujol who had governed Catalunya for 23 years following Spain's transition to democracy; Maragall was president until 2006, when fellow Catalan Socialist José Montilla took over the mandate. During the interview with MésCat, Maragall said "I think he'll win because it's time." He said that his own opinion of Mas had changed over time, but that Mas himself had also changed in the past years: that he had become more "human", learning to smile more.
Mallorcan tennis player Rafael Nadal yesterday became the youngest player to ever win the sport's four major tournaments, as he claimed victory in the US Open (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Nadal, who is just 24, beat Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows in four sets in a match that had been postponed for a day due to rain. With this, his first ever win at the US Open, he completes a triumphant year in which he has also won the French Open and Wimbledon. He is only the seventh man in history to have conquered the four titles, which are each played on diverse courts. Nadal also has three Davis Cups and a gold Olympic medal to his name, and is the player who has won the most Masters 1000 titles.
Despite an agreement reached in 2007 between the Spanish government and leading clothes manufacturers here to bring clothes sizes into line across the sector, many women still have trouble finding clothes that fit them (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Thanks to the current financial crisis, the companies involved have been given an additional five years to meet the terms of the agreement that would see them all cut their clothes according to the same sizing dictates; it would also see larger sizes 46 and 48 (UK sizes 16 and 18) no longer be treated as 'special' sizes and stocked as standard in their shops. Yesterday, the president of the Federation of Associations against Anorexia and Bulimia, Carmen Galindo, criticised that the agreement had not been put into practice; these groups have for some years criticised the lack of uniformity in clothes sizes due to the impact this can have on some people susceptible to eating disorders.
Also in the news: Another train strike called for this afternoon (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Spain continues to trail amongst European countries in economic recovery as Zapatero announces more austerity measures (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Catalan cementeries are increasingly popular as a tourist attraction (read article in Catalan here, Avui).