For the first time in 29 years the Basque country (Euskadi) has named a non-nationalist as lehendakari (president), Patxi López, the leader of the Socialist party in the autonomous region (article in Castilian). In what was seen as a historic moment in the area's political history, López was voted in with the following votes: PSE (25) PP (13) and UPD (1). He vowed that his leadership would be inclusive of all, whatever their political affiliations. López also said that, along with seeking the end of terrorist violence, the economic crisis would be one of the first issues his new government will be concentrating on.
Opposition to the conversion of the Museo Militar de Montjuïc into a museum of peace grew yesterday as the Grupo 26 de Chatos, pilots of the Republic, wished to reclaim their flag from the collection (article in Castilian). The veterans added to the growing displeasure amongst some at seeing the museum and its contents being transferred to Figueres Castle and demilitarised. An increasing number of people have sought to have their artifacts returned from the collection in protest at the move. The chairman of the Asociación de Aviadores de la República, 92 year old Chat Antoni Vilella, talking to El Pais said that "weapons are not to blame for the wars...all the main European capitals have military museums." He went on to say that the demilitarisation of a castle is "absurd".
Marina Geli, the Generalitat's health minister announced at a press conference yesterday, following a meeting of the Consell Executiu, that they have initiated the process of officially declaring the sardana the national dance of Catalunya. Her statement claimed that the dance was part of the cultural references of many citizens and comes after a strong movement by the Sardanista Catalán civic group, which has the support of many Catalan towns. Although considered by many as an intrinsic part of the culture of the region, the dance has never before enjoyed recognition as the official dance. Geli went on to say that this process would incur no extra cost to the public.