As part of the Franco-Spanish summit held yesterday in Madrid between Nicolas Sarkozy and José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, it was announced that by 2012, a high-speed train connection will be operational between Barcelona and the French city of Lyon (article in Castilian). The predicted journey time between the two is said to be just four hours. However, this announcement was met with surprise in some quarters as the work to build the high-speed train line from Barcelona to the French border is already delayed and it is this which had been due to be completed by 2012. Experts say that the link between Barcelona and Lyon is unlikely to be ready until 2020.
Various suspected new cases of swine flu in Catalunya mean that there are now 14 people in the autonomous community thought to be affected by the illness (article in Castilian). All those who are being tested are in their 20s and are being treated in different hospitals throughout Catalunya. However, they have all been given a favourable prognosis, according to the Health department, and could actually be released from care, but the authorities have decided to keep them under observation; four of those affected have sought voluntary release.
Hotels located in the Ramblas area have complained that the famous Barcelona street is suffering from both an image and security problem and that this will have a knock-on affect for the tourism trade (article in Castilian). Hoteliers are fearful that the expanding problem of crime in the centre of town will lead to a down-turn in family and 'quality' tourism. They claim that the global image of Barcelona is suffering as a result of the security issues in this renowned part of the city and the effects will be felt during the peak holiday season.