Almost half of all passengers arriving in El Prat airport did so by low-cost carriers and in the past year Catalunya has seen users of these airlines increase by 42 percent (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Last month (July) saw an increase in international arrivals by 26.4 percent and of those nearly 560,000 did so using low-cost carriers. The increase is mainly due to Ryanair starting operations at El Prat in September 2010. However it seems to be another story at Girona airport where July saw 33.4 percent fewer international passengers with a decline of those using low-cost companies dropping by 36.7 percent. It is thought that this decrease will continue into the winter with Ryanair's announcement to cut flight numbers by half from Girona. Passengers from the UK and Germany lead the nationalities using budget airlines with an increase from the British market of 10.5 percent (7.4 million passengers) and 7.8 percent from Germany (4.1 million). Italy and the Netherlands come in third and fourth place.
Temperatures are set to reach over 40ºC in Catalunya and northern Valencia today (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). According to the Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET) temperatures are set to go above the maximum recorded this summer on Monday in Andújar where it reached 41.5ºC, they added that there is also a possibility of storms in the mountainous regions of central Spain. Angel Rivera, spokesperson for AEMET, said that the storms will be scattered and insignificant but will serve to cool the air, whilst in the center of the country the thermometers will fall two or three degrees. The agency predicts that Saturday will see the the hottest day of the week.
A judge is investigating a xenophobic attack on an anti-racism activist in Sitges (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The women, a member of anti-racist groups was attacked by three hooded men as she arrived home at 10.30pm on June 5th. Prosecutors and the Mossos d'Esquadra suspect the attack was racial motivated. The women, 39-years-old from Bolivian, suffered from a burn to the chest where the attackers put out a cigarette and several blows to the body. Speaking about the attack the victim said she first thought it was a robbery and so gave them her bag, however the attackers came after her. One of the assailants is thought to have mentioned the victim's role in anti-racist movements and her participation at demonstrations such as for Plataforma per Catalunya, an organisation that fights xenophobia in Catalunya. The aggressors have been quoted saying during the attack, "Choose between your life and your children because we are going to burn you alive, immigrant, whore." Prosecutor Miguel Angel Garcia, from the department of discrimination and hate crimes is coordinating the case.