The face to face debate between Montilla and Mas has been canceled at the last minute (read article in Castilian here, El País). An hour before it was meant to happen, the Electoral Board prevented the CiU and PSC in coming together in the televised face to face debate. The justification of the electoral board is based on the fact that the request for the debate did not happen five days in advance, as required by the law, in place in ensure that equality between competing candidates is guaranteed and that political pluralism is enforced. The debate was announced last Monday and was due to take place on TV3 yesterday, however, after three hours of deliberations, the Central Electoral Board decided that public TV is also subject to the rule. The text states that "all private television stations, local radio and television broadcasting stations should not record or broadcast debates which do not meet the requirement of giving five days notice." This also prevents the other two channels offered it, CNN and 8TV from broadcasting it to. Questions were being raised as to why Montilla launched the challenge with so little time. He expressed his "disappointment" at the board's decision and regretted that the debate was banned for what he called "formal" reasons. David Madi, CiU campaign manager, lamented the cancellation of the debate saying "that it could have been historic." He also expressed his displeasure over the orthodoxy of the Board of Elections calling for "a thorough reform of the mechanisms in the electoral law." Satisfaction amongst the ERC, PP and Ciutadans parties that had contested the proceedings was evident. The president of the PPC, Alicia Sánchez-Camancho, accused CiU and PSC of using the debate as a "smokescreen" and as a last "desperate" resort to polarise the campaign. Albert Rivera, running for the Ciutadans party said that justice had been done by the Board. Joan Herrera, ICV candidate regretted that they had lost the last days of the election campaign with a "sterile debate".
Copper thieves employ children and the elderly as informants (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Gangs engaged in the theft of copper wire and metal parts are paying large commissions to informants, which are usually children or elderly families that are in precarious financial situations. In exchange for providing data on potential hits they are receiving a percentage of the takings. José LA, a security guard at the Maresme Adif Station says, "a group of seemingly innocent children come walking along the tracks and suddenly one of them is climbing up the cables and drops them to the ground. The next day, adults return to load up with everything that they can." According to many sources within security companies, they are beginning to identify children and elderly adults acting suspiciously. The same sources reckon that these informants, if they had been used for the robbery of the six tonnes of copper, at the market price it would have been worth €50,000 and the informants would have received around €2,000 just for information. According to security company sources commission rates depend on the nationality of the burglars, "Romanians are more organised with international gangs and pay better and are allowed to wait to sell the proceeds of the robbery for the best price on the international market. These hypothesis are not however corroborated by the Mossos d'Esquadra. In Maresme alone, they detected around four robberies a day with stolen material adding up to between €500, €3,000.