The area of Montjuïc, one of the darkest areas of the city, will undergo significant change in the next couple of months with a new lighting system being installed to combat the badly lit streets and avenues (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia.) In a bid to tackle security problems that occur in the area of the city, new light bulbs and lamps will be installed in a million euro investment scheme. The new system, which is to cost €4 million will save energy and reduce the number of incidents on the the electric grid network. Workers involved in the scheme are, at present, tendering the contract and have received the first offers. They have a timetable of eight months in which to replace obsolete lamps, change the location and adjust the distancing between them. Of the 25 streets investigated in the area, only 20 of them are to be included in the scheme. Many of the lights present in the area do not comply with the Generalitat efficiency laws with regards to the uniformity of the light levels and in minimising light pollution. Included in the scheme is the avenida Maria Cristina which despite on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays where the lights of Font Màgica illuminate the area is deemed too dark.
La Federación de Personas Sordas de Catalunya (Fesoca), (The Deaf Federation of Catalunya) were celebrating a successful bid in Parliament for the legal recognition of the Catalan sign language (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The Chamber voted unanimously to approve the regulation of the language which around 25,000 people use in the region. Words such as tomato or brother are represented differently from the Spanish sign language and it is thought that the differences between the Catalan and Castilian versions make up to around 30 percent for reasons such as cultural expressions, identity and customs. The significance of the ruling means that the language can now be used in teaching, by the professional accreditation of interpreters and users now have the right to use it within the Administration. In the same way as the Real Academia Española "cleans, fixes and gives splendor" to Castilian, Catalan sign language works under the framework of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans. The law has taken three years to come to light since Parliament first agreed to implement the project in April 2007. One of the most positive aspects of the ruling is that since the start of the academic year of 2008-2009, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) has offered 20 places on the Translation and Interpretation degree programme which specialises in the Catalan version, the curriculum of which was developed in collaboration with Fesoca.
Ryanair, Ireland's biggest budget airline, will commence flying from Barcelona airport in September (read article in Catalan here, El Punt.) The company today announced plans to open the scheme with five planes probably flying mainly to Italian and Spanish cities. It is unclear how this move will affect the activity of the airline at Girona airport which currently has a base with 10 planes and makes around 400 flights a week carrying more than five million passengers. The announcement of the companies arrival at El Prat was made at a press conference in Barcelona with the Vice President Michael Cawley present. Although it is thought that the routes will primarily be to Italian and Spanish airports the company haven't ruled out offering flights to central Europe and to the UK. The move to implement their presence at El Prat is perhaps in reaction to passenger figures from Girona that indicated that between January and April there was an 5.9 percent decrease - in part due to the grounding of planes during the ash cloud.
Also in the news: Chinese police had to prevent children in Shanghai imitating the 'castellers' after they saw Catalan children doing it on television and they claimed it didn't seem "complicated" (read article in full, in Castilian here, La Vanguardia).