The Catalan police investigating the double murder in a bar on Provença on Monday night have said they are surprised at the level of violence used in the attack (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The mother, of 85 years, and her son, 55, were killed in their bar ‘Joan’ close to Avinguda Diagonal, apparently as part of a robbery, as money was taken both from the till and a slot machine. However, police have said that it was an exceptionally bloody crime that showed unusual cruelty, which robberies in the city don’t often involve. The two victims were killed by blows from a blunt instrument, likely to have been something found in the bar, and police suspect that at least two people are responsible for the crime. Given the exceptional circumstances surrounding the murder, the police are currently refusing to rule out any hypothesis regarding its motive.
Catalan politicians will today debate measures to deal with the current financial crisis, keeping one eye on this autumn’s Generalitat elections while also trying to convince voters that they are not using the situation for political gain (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Despite this, Artur Mas, the leader of the opposition party Convergencia i Unió (CiU), will seek to demonstrate that the past seven years of coalition government have not created an effective economic policy to deal with today’s difficult financial situation. In turn, the Catalan president, José Montilla, will seek to regain the initiative gained by CiU in giving its support at the weekend to the anti-crisis pact of the central Spanish government. However, it is unlikely that CiU will easily sacrifice the gains it’s made in the past week, with Mas and his party hoping to become a key player in the future policy of prime minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
The British architect Richard Rogers is no longer working on the development of the Las Arenas bullring (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). With around three-quarters of the project to transform the Plaça Espanya site into a leisure and shopping centre complete, the architect’s company has reached agreement with the Arenas owner, Metrovacesa, to cease its involvement in the work being done. The building works were delayed for much of 2009 due to problems related to money as well as alleged disagreements between Rogers’s office and their Spanish partners, Alonso y Balaguer. Now that the works have been restarted, however, Metrovacesa has reached an agreement with the Richard Rogers Partnership that the reminder of the building work be done without them. A spokesperson for Metrovacesa said that the most complicated part of the work is now completed, which Rogers had been responsible for, and that the outstanding development won’t present any major difficulties. The new centre is due to open in the first quarter of 2011.
Also in the news: Spanish national broadcaster to put in more checks on Eurovision competitors following behaviour of one in this week’s final (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Catalunya is the autonomous community where most companies have closed due to the crisis (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Fall in numbers applying for public health card highlights drop in immigrants living in Catalunya (read full article in Catalan here, Avui)