Scenes of violence were witnessed this morning as the Mossos d'Esquadra evicted students (article in Castilian) protesting against the proposed Plan de Bolonia. The students who had been camped in the university building since November 20th were awakened by police at 5.30am by shining torches in their faces and then forcibly removed. Once in the street, the 53 students tried to regain entrance but were stopped by police; this led to confrontations between the two groups and 16 students were detained.
Some 80 students, evictees and others mounted a protest which blocked traffic on Gran Via from 7.25am until 8.45am. Police charged, using their batons and other means to force the students to the ground. Police sources confirmed two more students were detained as a result of this action.
Rac1 radio reported that the Rector of the University, who had previously promised the students that they could stay in the building as long as no violence occured, called the Mossos in to evacuate them after reports surfaced yesterday of a student who was injured after being attacked by another student.
Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar releases his 17th film this week in cinemas across Spain. Los Abrazos Rotos stars Penelope Cruz alongside a mainly Spanish cast including Blanca Portillo. The story is familiar territory for Almodóvar fans as it centres around the crossed paths and romantic lives of its main characters; a director and writer. It tells of the accident that left the director blind 14 years previously and the affair he was having with a film star at the time. Recent oscar-winner, Cruz is at the centre of a torrid love triangle, much like her award-winning role in Woody Allen's hit Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The film took 15 months to make and is set between Madrid and Lanzarote. No overseas release date has been
Click here for a review of the film in El Pais or here for a recent interview with the Spanish director (both in Castilian)
The Catalan tourist department announced controversial plans (article in Castilian) to investigate 500 businesses to see if they have staff who can serve in the two official languages of Catalunya. Twenty-two inspectors will be checking to see if they are complying with the Ley de Política Lingüística which states that there has to be at least one person present who is able to attend customers in Catalan, although they only have to have a degree of understanding—the ability to speak the language is not obligatory. If a business fails to comply with this requirement, it faces fines of up to €600. Gaietà Ferràs, the president of the Guild of Restaurateurs of Barcelona was quoted as saying, " This language is an added value in restaurants and shops, but now is not the moment to initiate the campaign." The sector is more concerned about getting support during the economic downturn.