Weekly news roundup in Catalonia and the world
Good news, the Israel - Palestine boxing match seems to be coming to an end with both sides announcing a cease-fire, not before Israel sending over one last rocket, though. Anyone said anything about having the last word?
Real Madrid beat Osasuna last night 3-1- a rather pathetic game where Osasuna were denied two penalties, alright one and a half and had one player sent off for dissent. Scrappy game, scrappier goals and not good for the sport. Barcelona had a great game on the other hand thrashing deportivo 5-0. Looks like Pep Guardiola has got game as the Americans say.
Marc Coma has won the Dakar rally on his motorbike. It’s the second time this Catalan rider has won the most punishing of rallies, so hats off to him.
Barak Obama is nearly in the White House and to celebrate it a macro concert was given yesterday to mark the occasion with highlights such as Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Shakira and even Alejandro Sanz who was the only Spaniard invited to sing.
Renault unveils today in The Algarve, Portugal the new R29. This will be the new car that Fernando Alsonso hopes will give him a third world title, we shall see. Still on Formula 1, we know that Ron Dennis stepped down the other day handing over the keys to the kingdom to Martin Whitmarsh. Will Ron now be a back seat driver at McLaren? This announcement slightly overshadowed the presentation of the new MP4-24, the McLaren Mercedes with its new alluring and sexy curves. As has been pointed out it is definitely not a retirement but rather Ron Dennis will still be the central, binding factor, the spiritual glue that will hold together the McLaren Group. Very poetic indeed.
Finally, the green area or l’àrea verda has been extended to neighbourhoods such as Horta-Guinardó and Sant Andreu. Another money making scheme that provides “green” parking areas for residents and “blue” areas for non residents. Seems like the Catalan government are taking lessons from other European countries, I just hope they don’t implement London’s 8 quid a day congestion charge. If that happens then we’ll all be on public transport.
On another note though, with all these new plans to lower speed limits reduce parking in the street etc that we are subjected to in Barcelona just recently I have a question: Won’t all these measures that have previously been great for the Catalan government’s coffers be counter productive? I mean with less parking tickets and speeding tickets to hand out, won’t it make a nice dent in their revenue? Ooh haven’t thought of that one have we Mr Hereu? I suppose they will start ERE’s (Expediente de Regulación de Empleo) or employment regulation measures of the type that seems to be the norm in Spain at the moment and get rid of half of Barcelona’s traffic wardens as a result. Then when it doesn’t work they’ll invite them back next year so they can hand out tickets with a vengeance, which’ll be nice