The process of replenishing the diminished sand from the city beaches has begun ahead of the forthcoming official opening of the summer season, (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). Workers are looking to restructure some five kilometres of sand from the beaches and walkways and machines can be seen working, plowing sand from the highest peaks and leveling it out to about 50 centimetres in order to be ready for the official opening on May 31st. The problem lies in the fact that Barcelona has no natural beaches, all of them have been created artificially and this year it will take 750,000 cubic metres of sand to replace what has been taken away by the sea. The work of the controversial semi-submerged dams, built recently, only helps up to a point but doesn’t minimise the loss of sand completely. Barceloneta and Marbella beaches are ready thanks to the reduced level of loss of sand because of sediment forming a barrier and being returned to the bank gradually. The work at Bogatell is still being completed thanks to damage done to the dam in previous storms.
The President of the PP party, Mariano Rajoy will not visit the April Fair at the Fòrum in Barcelona as was planned as he believes it would be not politically appropriate (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Rajoy has reconsidered the agenda where Catalunya is concerned and has postponed trips here until a clear future of the Estatut has been decided. Since Alicia Sánchez-Camacho was made president of the PP catalán, Rajoy had made a commitment to travel once a month to Catalunya. But given the change in the situation, Rajoy has suspended all up coming visits to the region.
Under the Ley de Acogida, due to be adopted today in Parliament, the Generalitat will have to guarantee the integration of foreigners in obtaining nationality (read article in Castilian here, El Mundo). Residencial immigrants or those returning to Catalunya will now face a more standard and universal process for social and legal integration. Catalunya is to be the first CCAA to regulate the powers granted by the Ley de Extranjeria, reformed in 2009, to approve of the renewal of temporary residence permits and access to nationality by residence. Immigrants will now obtain official accreditation after completing a reception course with basic training in Catalan, the labour market and social environment. The law aims to create a first class service through local authorities that is universal and homogeneous and to improve the autonomy of all registered immigrants in Catalunya. This makes the region the first community to establish a legal framework for the reception of immigration.
Pep Guardiola has claimed that he wants the players to feel that it is a privilege to play in tonight's semi-final game against Inter Milan, (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). “Calm, happiness, a pleasure and an honour”, these are the sensations that Guardiola is feeling ahead of tonight’s testing match, although he has previously admitted that Inter are “an extraordinary team, so we will have to play very well and attack as much as possible”. Asked about his devised formula to win against the Italian team he responded “to be the same, we have proposed to be ourselves”. He went on to say that they will ask themselves, “do we feel ourselves? Then this is enough”.
Also in the news: Restoration of the Santa Maria del Mar cathedral is near completion after undergoing extensive restoration work (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico) A survey has revealed that young immigrants and children of immigrants in Catalunya feel more Catalan than Spanish (read full article in Catalan here, Avui)