The Spanish minister of defence, the Catalan politician Carme Chacón, has informed the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) that she wants to stand as the successor to current prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero when he stands down (read article in Catalan here, Avui). According to media reports, sources from the Socialist Party in Barcelona and Madrid say that Chacón has spoken to allies amongst the bosses of the PSC to let them know about her decision to stand for the presidency of the Spanish government, if Zapatero decides not to run in next year's general elections. The news is not a total surprise, as some time ago Chacón raised the possibility of taking part in primaries within the Spanish Socialist Party to select a new leader. If she does stand, it is likely that her main rival will be Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, who is the current deputy prime minister.
Secondary school headteachers have said that they are not concerned by the issue of what pupils wear in response to the Generalitat's education minister, Irene Rigau, suggesting the introduction of uniforms (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Rigau raised the issue a on Monday, saying that if pupils were to wear uniforms, it would avoid problems with inappropriate clothing in schools. Headteachers consulted on the matter said that raising such matters for discussion that weren't really issues was just a way for the ministry to avoid dealing with more difficult problems that are pending. Instead, the general opinion was that while there are occasional instances of pupils coming to school wearing inappropriate outfits, common sense generally prevails and it is rarely necessary to take further action once it is raised with the pupil or their parents.
Water along half the Catalan coastline doesn't meet environmental requirements, the Generalitat has admitted (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). This is despite increased efforts in recent times to keep the water clean using methods such as water-treatment plants and improved control of spillages. Such measures have not seen the quality of water come up to EU standards, with the water closest to the coast (litoral) failing to meet the criteria set in the European Framework Directive on Water. Problems have been found in 15 of 34 locations along the coast, which are in the main found between the mouth of the Besós river (in Barcelona province) and Francolí (to the south of Tarragona). However, while the Generalitat admits that it is necessary to continue working on this matter, it is unclear whether the problem (in biological and physical-chemical levels) is manmade or due to natural phenomonen. While the water doesn't meet the EU's environmental levels, this doesn't mean that it isn't suitable for bathing in, said the head of the Control of Coastal Waters unit, Mariona de Torres. Torres also denied that there was a "plague" of jellyfish affecting Catalan waters.