The official census of Barcelona includes more than 300,000 foreigners for the first time, a number that has multiplied twelve times since 1992 (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). In 1991, the number of non-Spanish people officially registered as living here was 23,366, of which the biggest group was Moroccans. However, in today’s Barcelona, residents from Morocco are at number seven in the list of nationalities living in the city, with Italians being the largest group of non-Spaniards, although many of them originally came from Argentina or another South American country. Other characteristics that are reflected in the ‘padrón’ include the fact that the population of the Catalan capital is aging, with 140,000 more over-65s than under-14s now registered here. Overall, there are around 1.6 million people currently living in Barcelona.
The group Al Qaeda al Magrib Islàmic has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of three Catalan charity workers on November 29th in Mauritania (article in Catalan, Avui). A taped message was sent to the television station Al-Jazeera early yesterday morning in which the group said that it was behind both the taking of the Catalans as well as of a Frenchman, Pierre Camatte, in Mali on November 25th. The three Catalans, Albert Vilalta, Roque Pascual and Alícia Gámez, were named in the message, which went on to say that the Spanish and French governments would shortly be notified about the demands of the mujahidins that were holding the four captives. Both France and Spain have important roles in Mauritania at the present time, with Spain playing a key role in controlling border security through the European Agency.
Between 1980 and 2007, the number of babies born who weighed less than 2.5 kilos in Spain rose by 171.4 percent (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). This figure was significantly above the average rise recorded by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of just 26 percent, and means that Spain is the developed country that has experienced the most worrying rise in small babies being born during this period. Some 7.6 percent of new-borns here are officially registered as underweight, which puts Spain at number nine of a list of 30 countries on which the OECD has gathered information. The Spanish representative of the OECD, Cristina Narbona, said that the reasons for this phenomena included smoking and women delaying having children.
Also in the news: Another corruption suspect leaves prison after paying €1mn bail (La Vanguardia); Long weekend disappointing for Catalan ski resorts, with 40 percent less visitors than expected (El Periodico); Barça visit Dinamo Kiev looking for victory necessary to finish top of their Champions group (Avui)