The mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, and the president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, have reportedly come to an agreement about the future of the club's Miniestadi, the smaller stadium which neighbours the main one (article in Castilian, El Periodico).The proposal discussed by Hereu and Laporta would see the Miniestadi pulled down and the land used to build up to 1,000 apartments, a hotel and a park. However, the timing for the development is unclear as Hereu is planning to seek support from his opposite number in the Convergencia i Unió party, Xavier Trias, and there is likely to be opposition to the plan from the other parties in the city council, Esquerra Republicana and Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds. Furthermore, an attempt some 10 years ago by Barça to make alternative use of this land, which would have included the construction of a shopping centre, was thwarted by residents who were concerned that the change would cause unsustainable strain on the neighbourhood's resources.
If all goes according to plan, later today the autonomous communities and the central Spanish government will sign the new national budget, which will see Catalunya get an amount five percent higher than the average from 2012 (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). Following more than a year of negotiations and disagreement, the Catalan Finance Minister, Antoni Castells, said yesterday that the budget represents a new model of working with the Spanish government; he added that the amount that Catalunya will receive is in line with what the Generalitat had sought, around €3,800 million. It will take three years for the full scope of the finance agreement to come into being, at which point Catalunya will get 30 percent more funding than now.
Ninety percent of university students believe that the teaching of English here is not up to scratch, according to a wide-ranging survey about language carried out in seven public Catalan universities and the UOC, the Catalan Open University (article in Catalan, Avui). While three-quarters of those questioned felt that the teaching of the Catalan language was sufficient, only 11 percent though the same about English. While the language is seen as a key factor for completing university courses and later success, there was a feeling that the classes being given in English were "problematic". In addition, respondents said that they arrived at university with a low level of English, due to poor teaching at school, and that the resources were not provided for them to improve their language skills during their time at university. The survey was carried out on-line and almost 3,000 students responded to the questions.
Also in the news: three members of the same Chinese family found dead (La Vanguardia); Less British tourists visit Spain (El Periodico);