Today sees five years since the terrorist attacks on Madrid but the occasion will not be marked with any special event in the Spanish capital, apart from an evening concert at which no one from the Spanish government will attend. Members of the Spanish Socialist party who are part of the autonomous government of Madrid have refused to attend the remembrance event being led today by the Madrid president Esperanza Aguirre; Aguirre, of the Partido Popular, was being investigated for charges of internal espionage, but that investigation has been closed down. In an interview with Pilar Manjón (article in Castilian), the president of the 11-M Affected by Terrorists Association, in El País today, she says that the victims of the Al-Qaeda bombing have moved into the background and that there are some who struggle to find the necessary means to buy food. She argues that the Spanish legislation doesn't understand how jihadists operate and that the country needs a special anti-terrorist area to deal with it as there already is for ETA.
Estate agents in Barcelona estimate that between 10 and 15 percent of the city's commercial venues are currently for rent or traspaso, as the financial crisis affects businesses in all neighbourhoods. On Avinguda Diagonal between Plaça Francesc Macià and Passeig de Gràcia, there has been a growth in the number of For Rent signs on shops and offices there in the past two months, despite this being a prime commercial areas in Barcelona - however, the areas that are most affected are the less important business areas. Many of those who have closed their doors, had only started their operations in the last five years or so. The high rents associated with the boom in the real estate sector of the past have in many cases been the undoing of many of these small- and medium-sized organisations.
Barcelona's bike rental service, Bicing, is celebrating two years since it began and users are being encouraged to post their thoughts about how it works on a blog on their website. It's accompanied by a video showing users commenting about what they think of the service, both positive and negative.