Street performers who have worked for years on La Rambla as human statues have spoken out against a group of Romanian interlopers that, they say, are taking their spaces on the Barcelona street (article in Catalan, Avui). There is a daily battle amongst those wanting to entertain people on La Rambla to grab the best spot that they can, and some of those involved blame an organised group of Romanians for causing the problem. In response, the local council of Ciutat Vella has put in place a system of regulation as a way of ensuring that those who are seen on the Rambla have a minimum level of artistic merit and creativity. One of those who performs, William, said that the spaces should be reserved for those who make their own costumes and have clearly well-rehearsed their act; he criticised groups that, he said, simply hire costumes, which they then share amongst them, taking it in turns to do shifts as performers.
Dr Jaime Brugos, a Spanish nutritionist, has claimed that a fundamental error in the ‘food pyramid’, which shows how much of different food groups people should eat, has contributed to bad eating habits and the rapid recent rise in obesity in the West (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Dr Brugos has written a book, to be published later this month in Spain, that says that carbohydrates have been mistakenly classified as nutrients comparable to proteins and fats. The nutritionist said that the error was based on work done by a German scientist in the Fifties, Hans Adolf Krebs, who came to this conclusion about the importance of carbohydrates in work that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Instead, Brugos claims, the public should be told to focus on eating proteins and fats, rather than carbohydrates that can provide energy, which, if it isn't used up, can accumulate in the body as fat.
The charity Cáritas de Barcelona has said that it expects to help more than 50,000 people before the end of this year (article in Castilian, El Periodico). This is a greater number than in 2008 and double the number that sought assistance from the NGO in 2007. Since the summer, Cáritas has seen a growth in people coming to them for help, after a couple of months when it seemed that the numbers had stabilised. On the basis of the NGO's experience, the director of Cáritas de Barcelona, Jordi Roglà, questioned the suggestion that there are signs of recovery in the economy, and praised the support provided by the Barcelona city council to social networks. Eighty percent of the finances of Cáritas come from private donations, and this year, the charity will invest more than €20 million, up three million from 2008.
Also in the news: Foreign footballers to pay more taxes (Avui); Felix Millet cheated daughter’s in-laws over wedding costs (El Periodico); Parties governing Generalitat can’t agree on anti-corruption measures (La Vanguardia)