According to figures released in a study entitled Encuesta de Movimientos Turísticos en Frontera (Frontur) by the Ministerio de Industria, Turisimo y Comercio, the number of foreign tourists visiting Catalunya fell by 12.5 percent in the first six months of the year when compared to the same period in 2008 (article in Castilian, El Mundo) The region received 5.6 million foreign visitors. However it still remained the most popular area in Spain for visitors. Spain isn't the only one to record a drop in figures with the UK registering a decrease of 16.3 percent and Germany with 11 percent less visitors.
Following two pilot schemes aimed at the education of recently arrived immigrants in Vic and Reus, the education minister Ernest Maragall announced yesterday that they are to open a new scheme in Cornellà. (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The project entitled espacios de bienvendia educativa (EBE) has been running from three to six weeks and has seen 249 students go through the school gates. The new course is set to open in Cornellà, one of the areas receiving some of the highest number of immigrants since the scheme started. The students to go through the project are from as far a field as Senegal, India and Ghana and the majority of the pupils were in the last year of primary aged between 11 and 12 years old. During their time with the scheme the students and their families received orientation and assessment to incorporate them into the main school system with better success.
Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the foreign affairs minister spoke yesterday of the historical meeting that took place in Gibraltar and vowed to resolve the problems for the interest of the citizens (article in Castilian, El Pais) He was quoted as saying that "we have to look to the future and not to the past." The first meeting in Gibraltar for three hundred years ended in the three parties, Spain, UK and Gibraltar, promising to collaborate over the issues most fundamental to the citizens like the environment, judicial power, politics and education. Moratinos stated that the question of sovereignty wasn't on the table but went on to say, "the demand of Spain over Gibraltar is permanent, absolute and known to all parties." David Miliband however insisted that the objective of the meeting yesterday was to "better the quality of life" of all Gibraltarian and Spanish.
Also in the news: The banks Sabadell, Terrassa and Manlleu have all given the green light for a fusion of services, (El Mundo). The Dalí Museum in Figueres is the biggest earning private museum in Spain, (El Pais). Four firefighters have died and two are serious injured trying to fight the fires in Horta, (El Periodico)