Registered unemployment in Catalonia drops by 1.11%, the fifth consecutive monthly reduction

August 2, 2013 09:20 PM | ACN

By the end of July there were 6,859 fewer people registered at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) than a month ago, which leaves the total number of registered unemployed individuals at 610,429. The current amount of jobseekers is now the same level as September 2011. Unemployment levels have been decreasing in Catalonia for the last five consecutive months. In addition, last July’s drop is the most significant reduction in this month of the year since 2010. In the whole of Spain, the unemployment rate decreased by 1.36%, with 64,866 fewer people registered at the Public Employment Service offices. This means that by the end of July there were 4,698,814 individuals registered as unemployed in Spain. The Catalan Government states that, if the trend is kept during the second semester, the economic crisis would have reached “its lowest level” earlier this year.

Barcelona’s Grec performing arts festival is to end with more than 119,000 spectators viewing 87 shows

July 30, 2013 09:33 PM | ACN

The 37th annual Grec Festival is to close on Wednesday with an expected increase of 1,000 tickets sold compared to last year’s edition. Festival Director, Ramon Simó, assured that the festival has been a success and that ticket targets have been achieved. With regards to the attendance by genre, theatre events were the most popular with 38,878 viewers watching 40 shows (at 44% capacity). 14,362 people watched 14 live concerts (63% capacity), 10,652 spectators watched the 8 dance shows on offer (70% capacity), while the 4 circus productions received 5,574 viewers (86% capacity). The average attendance to the festival was 52%, which considering the crisis in the performing arts sector is a significant figure according to Simó.

Unemployment rate in Catalonia drops by 29,300 people to 23.85%

July 25, 2013 09:33 PM | ACN

By the end of June, there were 873,000 people in Catalonia without work and looking for employment, according to the latest Active Population Survey (EPA). This represents 29,300 fewer individuals than 3 months ago, which is the highest unemployment reduction in the second quarter of the year since 2002. However, employment levels have only increased by 11,800 people, which means that this year Catalonia has experienced the lowest increase in job creation for this period of the year since 1998. The Catalan unemployment rate is now 23.85%, while the Spanish average is 26.6%. In the whole of Spain, the number of people unemployed decreased by 225,200, which means that the total number of unemployed people is now below the psychological landmark of 6 million individuals (5,977,500).

Unemployment drops by 24,878 people in Catalonia, registering the largest drop in June since 1996

July 2, 2013 11:12 PM | CNA

Registered unemployment in Catalonia decreased by 3.87% in June compared to the previous month’s figures. June is a month when unemployment tends to be reduced due to summer jobs, but last month registered the highest drop since 1996. The total number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) by the end of June reached 617,288 individuals. However, compared to a year ago, registered unemployment increased by 1,712 people, 0.28% more than in June 2012. In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment also increased in annual terms (+3.2%) and decreased compared to a month ago (-2.6%). Catalonia is the Autonomous Community where unemployment decreased the most in monthly terms. Furthermore, in the Lleida Province (Western Catalonia), unemployment also decreased in annual terms.

Catalonia awarded 90 blue flags for its clean and safe beaches, 3 more than last year

May 24, 2013 12:29 AM | CNA

In addition, 24 marinas in Catalonia have also been awarded a blue flag this year. In 2012, 87 beaches and 24 marinas were awarded. The blue flags recognise the cleanness, safety, environmental management and services provided at the beach. Spain has obtained a total of 648 blue flags: 551 recognising beaches and 97 for marinas. It means 11 more flags for beaches and 1 less for marinas than last year. Catalonia is the 3rd Autonomous Community with the highest number of blue flags in Spain recognising the quality of the beaches. The Costa Brava has 28 blue flags, the Costa Daurada and the Ebro Delta have 38 and the beaches near Barcelona or even in the city have 24 flags.

Almost 115,000 people joined the X-Games, the extreme sport competition in Barcelona

May 22, 2013 11:33 PM | Andrea Cabrera / Àlex Ramis

The rain that fell on the Catalan capital did not tarnish the first X-Games held in Barcelona, although it did cause a headache for the organisers, who had to juggle with competition schedules and even cancel the RallyCross and Moto X Freestyle competitions. 114,600 people attended the event in total, crowding out the venues in which the different competitions were held.

The Extreme Sports Olympics come to Barcelona

May 16, 2013 04:33 PM | Andrea Cabrera / Àlex Ramis

The Catalan capital is ready to celebrate the first X-Games on European soil. The event, which is being held from May 16th to the 19th, is expected to host 120,000 spectators that will generate an income of 40 million euros for the city of Barcelona. Among international stars like stunt performer Travis Pastrana, the BMX rider Kevin Robinson or the skater Paul Rodríguez, toplevel Catalan stars like rally competitor Nani Roma or the Moto X riders Laia Sanz and Edgar Torronteres will also be present.

New music festival in Barcelona during the summer with Josep Carreras and Julio Iglesias topping the programme

April 16, 2013 01:28 AM | CNA / Pau Cortina

The Festival ‘Jardins del Palau de Pedralbes’ will take place between the 20th of June and the 8th of July in the Catalan capital. Josep Carreras, Julio Iglesias, Antony and the Johnsons, Natalie Cole, Roger Hodgson, Earth Wind & Fire and Crosby, Stills & Nash are some of the artists that will play at the first event. The private company Concert Studio is behind the initiative, which has the support of Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Government. Public funds will only cover 2% of the festival’s budget. Concert Studio have already organised the Cap Roig festival and the Festival del Mil·leni. According to them, they wanted to fill “an empty space” in Barcelona’s musical season.

Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Keane and Diana Krall to play in the next Cap Roig Festival on the Costa Brava

April 6, 2013 01:53 AM | CNA / Pau Cortina

The 13th edition of the Festival de Cap Roig will run from the 20th of July until the 16th of August, and it is one of the main milestones of Catalonia’s cultural landscape during the summertime. The music event takes place in the Cap Roig gardens, a green promontory overlooking the sea, located in Calella de Palafrugell, at the centre of the Costa Brava. This year, the budget has been reduced by 20% and the average ticket price will be reduced by 16% due to the economic crisis. The Catalan bands Manel, Gossos, Antònia Font and Blaumut will play at the festival that will be kicked off with a concert by Elton John, making the only stop in Spain of his 'Rocket Man - Greatest Hits Live' tour. Other important artists are Katie Melua, Fito & Fitipaldis, Vicente Amigo, Melendi, Malú, Rosario and Ainhoa Arteta.

The Catalan coast reached almost full hotel occupancy in August

August 31, 2012 11:18 PM | CNA

The increase of tourism from Russia contrasts with last minute bookings and the drop of the average spending. Hotels on the Central Catalan coast had a 95% occupation rate in August, the same as those on the Costa Daurada. Hotels on the Costa Brava had a 90% occupation rate. The increase of foreign tourism compensated for the drop of local visitors. Camping sites and rural cottages had a bad season, since they are more dependant on local tourism.

The 26th Castell de Peralada Festival ends with more than 20,000 attendees and 84% of tickets sold

August 23, 2012 10:52 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

The Castell de Peralada Festival displayed 19 shows from the June 17th until August 22nd, involving more than 800 people from different companies, orchestras, technical teams and artists. 20,000 people attended the event and with 84% of available tickets sold, the organisers are pleased with this year’s results. The festival’s management has already started planning for next year and confirm the soprano Sonda Radvanosky to perform ‘Norma’.

Costa Brava’s Cap Roig music festival ends with 88% of tickets sold and 41,000 attendees

August 20, 2012 10:52 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz ended the successful Costa Brava festival that achieved full audiences in 15 of 20 concerts scheduled and an attendance of 41,000 people. This year's festival was the first organised by Catalan music publisher Clipper’s and included performances by Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, Simple Minds, James Morrison, Miguel Bosé and Manolo García, among others. The festival has had a positive effect on the local economy providing a boost of €20 million.

Chinese acrobatics, balance and magic in Porta Ferrada Festival

August 17, 2012 08:46 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

Twenty artists from Beijing’s National Circus o present ‘The Dream of a Journey to the East’ at the Porta Ferrada Festival, in the Costa Brava's town of Sant Felíu de Guíxols. The show, with a mix of entertainment and acrobatics choreographed to music, is directed by a showman who leads the narrative in close proximity to the spectators. Beijing’s National Circus has visited over 60 countries in the past 40 years and has won several international competitions.

The ‘Dansalona’ festival aims to promote dance in thirteen areas of Barcelona this summer

July 31, 2012 11:58 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

The 'Dansalona’ festival in the months of August and September is aiming to “popularise dance” in the city with a variety of activities. With numerous performances in theatres across Barcelona, the opportunity to discover behind the scenes and practical workshops, the festival aims to open the city’s creative industry to new audiences, including foreign visitors.