UNESCO include flamenco and castells on their World Heritage list (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). UNESCO decided yesterday, during the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, held in Nairobi (Kenya), to include castells on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The international meeting was attended by a Catalan delegation headed by Ernest Benach, president of the Catalan Parliament. Joan Manuel Tresserras, minister of culture and communications, who was also in attendance, stressed that "the declaration is an important recognition for Catalan culture and the casteller world in particular. This recognition affirms our uniqueness and makes us more universal." He went on to explain that the new status was a result of intensive work by the planning board and above all else, the effort and dedication of every casteller. "The castellers are a good summary of values associated with effort, cooperation between diverse people and of the trust in others." Ernest Benach reiterated his point and added in his speech before members of the convention that, "Catalans are proud that our contributions towards humanity are unique, original, enriching, creative and both rooted in tradition and still alive with an eye towards the future." UNESCO said of the inclusion that "they (castellers) are perceived by the Catalans as part of their cultural identity, handed down from generation to generation and provide community members with a sense of continuity, social cohesion and solidarity." Flamenco, the Mediterranean diet and the canto de la Sibila were also recognised. Flamenco, after a failed attempt in 2005, started a new application in 2009 and launched the campaign, Flamenco Soy in 2010.The Mediterranean diet was part of a joint application shared with Greece, Italy and Morocco.
The mayor's crisis committee reveal that in the last decade very few people have made a living through tourism with the industrial sector dominating figures (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The main labour force and the main generators of wealth in the Catalan capital are industrial workers and that the view that tourism is a major force is inaccurate. A report, prepared by the head of economic research department of the Barcelona Chamber was presented at the last meeting of the mayor's crisis committee. It reveals that in 2000, industrial workers, employed in manufacturing, logistics and construction, made up half of the total work force but now they don't reach 50 percent. However the author of the paper, Josep Ramon Rovira, said that despite this reduction, it does not mean that in terms of value, the industry sector has declined in significance. In short, even with less people employed, it can still generate the most wealth. In his analysis of the findings Rovira said there remains an overvaluation of tourism, and that in reality other services have created more jobs in the last decade. Health, education and social services have placed top of the list of jobs that generate the most employment in the last decade. However Rovira warns that a reliance on the public sector is dangerous thanks to severe budget constraints within that area and that only the incorporation of private funds could alleviate the suffering that this sector is to undergo thanks to cuts.
A video game launched by the PP party, which has party candidate Alicia Sánchez Camacho as a Lara Croft style character killing illegal immigrants collapsed after too many people tried to download it (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The premise behind the interactive game is that Sánchez-Camacho, who rides on the back of a seagull called Pepe, attempts the destroy characters and icons including barretinas (the Catalan beret), monteras (hunters), butifarras and paellas. The more you shot, the more points you get. Early yesterday afternoon, the PP's press service announced the launch of the game aimed at the new internet, mobile phone generation, however, the page collapsed after thousands registered entry. Later, at around 10pm the page was withdrawn from the internet. In a statement, the party said that the developer had not followed instructions properly. Unfortunately for the party, already hit by controversy over their views on illegal immigrants, a sign in the game, read "illegal immigrants" when it should have read "illegal mafias." The Party have already expressed their regret over the 'supposed' error. The game, called Rescue involves people destroying icons that denote illegal immigrants, independentistas, the unemployed, wasted public money, and icons of the Catalan burro stickers, prevalent on many car bumpers. The idea of destroying illegal immigrants in video games is not new. In 2009, the Liga Norte, an Italian political party, published a game on Facebook which involved accumulating points for sinking the largest possible number of boats approaching the coast of Italy. Just last week, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, presented in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, a town with a high level of immigration a proposed contract which suggested that immigrants would agree to leave Spain if they became unemployed.