Get this. The Woody Allen movie to be made in Barcelona will receive €1 million in subsidies from the Ayuntamiento and €500,000 from the Generalitat. In addition, Woody will get some cash from the central government depending on the movie's box office. Meanwhile, the press reports on Woody's every movement; they're playing up a story about Penelope Cruz and asshole actor Javier Bardem going out to dinner together. Several La Vanguardia columnists have already complained that all this falling down at Woody's feet is a bit provincial and rather undignified. But Barcelona loves it when people from the rest of the world takes notice of it. The city has a well-deserved high regard for itself, though they're still insecure about their new status as a place that people have actually heard of.
Zap shook up the cabinet. Nobody cares.
More Zap news: During the state of the nation debate in Congress, Zap came out with a surprise announcement that the government would pay €2500 to every couple producing a child after July 3. I didn't believe it was anything more than hot air, but it's actually going into effect. Is it a good idea? It's not much different from giving a tax exemption for dependents, I suppose, and I guess the state has enough money since they've been good about running a budget surplus--have to give a little credit here to Zap, though Aznar did the same thing. Rajoy pointed out that the PP's platform called for an €3000 payment for each new baby.
The San Fermín fiesta in Pamplona began today, and the town is full of Americans. Running with the bulls advice, if you insist on doing it: Watch a couple of times before you actually participate. Don't run drunk or hung over. If you fall, cover up but do not get up; an American was killed a couple of years ago when he fell in front of the bulls and tried to scramble out of the way. Don't get caught up in big crowds, especially not when going through the tunnel into the bullring; people have been trampled and crushed in pileups. Stay far away from lone bulls separated from the group; they're supposed to be the most dangerous. You may see people trying to touch the bulls; you're not supposed to do that.
They have encierros in a lot of other places in Spain, too; I think the most famous is San Sebastian de los Reyes, just outside Madrid, on August 28. Tudela is an interesting little town that's not too far from Pamplona, and they have a big fiesta lasting a week at the end of July. Here's the encierro schedule for July if you just can't get enough.
Sports news: Barça is still in the running to buy Chivu, but they're also trying to cut a deal to buy Gabi Milito from Zaragoza. They've made a deal with Milito and now they're trying to knock down the price. Supposedly FC Barcelona (basketball) shooting guard Juan Carlos Navarro is going to the NBA, but Barça wants too much money for him and he's not all that great.