The Spanish Executive has presented a 720-page report in which it proposes 120 measures “to eliminate duplications” and “improve the coordination” between government levels in order to “rationalise” and “increase the efficiency” of the public sector. However, the initiative proposes a true recentralisation of Spain, since almost all the measures point towards transferring powers and services back to the Spanish Government. The Catalan Executive and the non-Spanish-nationalist parties have announced a common front to stop “the pruning” of Catalonia’s self-government. Madrid’s document proposes the direct elimination of several institutions that are defined in the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, approved by citizens through a binding referendum. Furthermore, it cancels pending power devolutions, which had been planned for years but whose effective transfer has been constantly delayed.
Eight officers of the Catalan Police Force – called Mossos d’Esquadra – and two paramedics of the Catalan Emergency Services (SEM) have been indicted on Wednesday, following the death of a man while he was in custody. Last July, Yassir El Younoussi was arrested in El Vendrell for a threatening-authority felony. After a medical exam, El Younoussi was put into custody at the police station. According to the Catalan Police, due to his violent and agitated behaviour he was tied up with strips and forced to wear a helmet in order not to injure himself. He died a few hours later while still in custody at the police station. This case occurs a few weeks after another person died a few hours after the intervention of the Catalan Police in Barcelona’s Raval neighbourhood. In fact, this Wednesday, a tenth police officer has been indicted for the Raval case.
The ‘Butaca’ Awards have recognised the best Catalan Theatre performed during the 2012/2013 season. Lluís Pasqual, the Director of Barcelona's Lliure Theatre, has been awarded Best Director for his reinterpretation of Carlo Goldini’s The Boors comedy. The play was just as acclaimed as its Director, winning 5 of the 8 prizes it was competing for, including Best Show. Contemporary plays such as Smiley and Barcelona were also distinguished, winning 3 awards each. Albert Triola was presented the Best Actor Award for his part in Smiley while Emma Vilarassau won Best Actress for Barcelona. Famous Actress Rosa Maria Sardà received the honorary award in acknowledgment of her career.