Barcelona expats held hostage by greedy pilots

Today, pilots from the airline Vueling are striking today, April 25, and tomorrow, which they will repeat on May 5 and May 6. They are putting to test the company’s recently introduced operative model.

This will affect about 246 flights in the first two days of the strike, even though the ministry set a minimum cover of 82% of flights and 86% of transported passengers. Here is a list of flights canceled.

Vueling is trying to convey tranquility and has been trying to relocate many of the passengers affected.

The pilots are aiming to make the company commit to expanding the Spanish bases, rather than expanding the bases abroad, as is planned by Vueling. Furthermore, they have requested a salary increase of up to 30%. According to the pilot’s union (SEPLA), more than 120 pilots have already left the company and joined competitors such as Norwegian or Ryanair.

According to aerotime news hub, over 1.5 million EU travelers are suffering yearly from employees clashing with the airline’s policies. They believe that a traveler-friendly approach should be chosen over a pro-airline law.

Have you ever experienced canceled or delayed flights? If you want to actively fight against this, you might want to sign the petition by the platform Avaaz by Skycop.

Laura Kabelka
[email protected]

Civil Guard suspects subsidies were used to pay for October referendum

The Civil Guard suspects that subsidies for Junts pel Sí could have been used to pay for the expenses for the promotion of the referendum on October 1. This is stated in the final report that was delivered to the judge Pablo Llarena. The investigators estimate the money allegedly embezzled for the referendum to be approximately 2 million euros.

Investigators have reached this conclusion after identifying a total payment of 17,690€ for the contract for the cession of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya space, signed by Jordi Turull, imprisoned on March 23, as the president of the Parliamentary Group Junts pel Yes, for an event held on July 4.

This act, according to the Civil Guard, was aiming to increase the participation for the referendum and citizens were encouraged to vote with a Yes. The organization, as well as the event in the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, held and funded by Junts pel Sí. The money is said to have come from public subsidies.

Regarding the misappropriation, there have been further costs calculated by the Civil Guard of 40,227€ for IT material, 152,587€ for the voting ballots and about 61,879€ disseminated posters managed by Òmnium Cultural. Also, they verified the use of 980,000€ for the payment to the company Unipost for the distribution of envelopes, which is said to have come from the departments of Culture, Vice-Presidency, Health, Labor and Social Affairs, and the Presidency.


Algeria: 257 dead after plane crash

Today, 247 military men and 10 crew members died due to a plane crash near the Boufarik military air base, 60 kilometers south of Algiers. According to the Algerian Ministry of Defense, all passengers passed away.

The route of the Algerian airplane was supposed to transport troops from Algiers via Busfer to Tinduf, but crashed shortly after taking off, landing in a nearby field.

So far it is not known what caused this devastating accident.


Rebellion, terrorism and public disorder: Seven more detained in Catalonia

This morning, the Civil Guard detained a member of the CDR (Committees of Defense of the Republic) who is allegedly responsible for coordinating roadblocks and sabotaging the tolls carried out by activists during the Holy Week in the autonomous region. Crimes such as terrorism and rebellion are supposedly part of the accusation of the woman from Viladecans, who will be transferred to Madrid. The Civil Guard defined her as an “ideologist”.

But not only one person was arrested in Catalunya today. The Mossos d’Esquadra also arrested six more people in Malgrat de Mar, Arenys de Mar, Òrrius, Pont de Vilomara and in Solsona, for participating in the besiegement of parliament. For these six people detained, the accusations “merely” include public disorder and attack against the authorities.

It is probable that the Civil Guard will detain more people throughout the day and they state that this is not an operation against structures of the CDR, but against people and their actions in particular.

The response of the CDR of Catalonia on Twitter was to mobilize the independence movement in Esplugues de Llobregat under the slogan “If the touch us, they will touch us all.”

Other statements on Twitter include “ is not terrorism. Protest is not . There is no terror, except from a State that knows it cannot silence a people.”

It is attempted to carry out an international protest for freedom in Catalonia in various cities, such as London and Barcelona, on April 15.

Laura Kabelka
[email protected]


Four casualties and one suicide: The assault on the YouTube headquarters

Last Tuesday, a 39-year-old woman wounded four people before taking her own life at the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, near San Francisco. Confusions about the number of the injured people can be explained by the fourth one being a person who tried to escape, thereby straining one ankle. The other casualties were wounded by Nasim Nafaji Aghdam’s shots and a man is in critical condition. All four casualties were brought to a nearby hospital.

Apparently, the perpetrator did not know any of the casualties and her motivation is said to be hatred against the company, which she accused of discrimination according to Reuters.

The attacker lived in San Diego and had four YouTube channels, where she published content in Farsi, Turkish and English. Only recently, she complained about Youtube’s remuneration policy and on Instagram, she published a post saying that her Youtube channels had been filtered by YouTube so that her videos could hardly be seen.

Aghdam was a vegan activist and animal advocate. She stated that she does not believe in the freedom of expression in the real world since you will be suppressed for telling what you really feel. On her website, she mentions that Youtube does not allow equal opportunities and channels will only grow if they want them to.

After the attack, her four YouTube channels were deactivated due to “serious violations of YouTube’s policies”.



UKG fills Garage 442 AGAIN!

UK Garage

Its been 7 parties in a row and 7 full houses at Garage 442. This time it was the turn of DJ Katty and J Russ to keep the tunes coming.
Mixing UK House classics with garage remixes kept the dance floor moving. We also welcomed MC Kane Who was a fantastic MC for the night.

To keep in touch like the facebook page here

You can also tune in to DJ Katty every Monday at 17.00 to 1900 and Saturday from 22.00 to 23.00

Next party will be May 5th! See you there.

UK Garage
UK Garage

Venezuela: At least 68 died in prisoner’s riot

On Wednesday, at least 68 people are confirmed to have died in a presumed fire in the cells of a police station in Valencia, capital of the northern state of Carabobo. Numerous inmates were burned, others suffocated, and among the victims were visitors.

According to Attorney General Tarek’s tweet, now fours prosecutors should investigate the incident:

Carlos Nieto, from the organization Una Ventana a la Libertad (A Window to Freedom) stated some prisoners attempted to escape by setting mattresses on fires and taking a guard’s gun.

The visitors who died were apparently two women visiting inmates. After the accident, relatives waited in front of the police station, but the situation turned violent and teargas was released by the twenty officers guarding the police station. Later, the government of Carabobo expressed its solidarity for the relative of the fatal victims and assures their support with funeral services.

After the incident, dozens of relatives waited in the afternoon in front of the police station waiting for information, a situation that turned violent and resulted in the release of tear gas by the twenty police officers guarding the police station.

Prisons in Venezuela are completely overcrowded, which is why inmates are frequently housed in the cells of police stations.  Sadly, this violent uprising is no isolated case in Venezuela. Angry relatives are claiming information about detained relatives following the fire.


Germany’s steps to decide whether to extradite Puigdemont

Puigdemont’s arrest in Germany has opened a judicial process for which German authorities have to study the European Order of Detention and Delivery. To decide whether or not to extradite the former Catalan president to Spain, they have a maximum period of two months, which can be extended to 90 days in extraordinary cases.

The crimes Puigdemont is accused of would correspond to even stricter penalties in German law, up until life-long imprisonment. An investigation is now opened to determine whether Germany should deliver Puigdemont to Spain after he was accused of rebellion and embezzlement by Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena last Friday.

Carles Puigdemont was detained on Sunday in Germany on an international arrest warrant, dragging Germany into Spain’s dispute and finally involving Europe more in the conflict.

Puigdemont was traveling by car to Belgium from Finland and was arrested soon after crossing the border with Denmark. His driver was an out-of-service Mossos guard.

The so-called Euro order includes 32 crimes, such as terrorism, drug trafficking or human trafficking and can be issued by any Spanish judge. Since in Germany there are similar crimes of rebellion it is more likely that Germany will agree to comply with the Euro order.

Puigdemont’s lawyer, Paul Bekaert, states that his strategy is to challenge any request for extradition by demonstrating that the penalties are disproportionate and fundamental rights are at risk.

Catalonia: Events since October 1 and an Activist’s interpretation

Since Catalonia’s unofficial vote to break away from Spain on 1st of October 2017, the autonomous region has been a very hot topic all over the news and worldwide. Not only has this been the biggest political crisis in Spain in the last 40 years, but it also is a major challenge for the European Union. Years of ill-feeling concerning the level of autonomy the region had under the Spanish constitution led towards independence last autumn.

Then, on October 27, the regional parliament, where separatist MPs made up the majority, officially declared independence, no longer recognizing the Spanish constitution. Madrid’s response was to impose Article 155 of the Spanish constitution to dissolve the regional parliament and dismiss Carles Puigdemont and his entire cabinet.

On October 30 Carles Puigdemont went to Brussels with some of his collaborators to escape Spanish justice. Weeks of protests and mass demonstrations followed to “defend the republic”. Mariano Rajoy’s Deputy Prime Minister was appointed to run the region temporarily and new elections were called for December 21.

After being imprisoned, a few Catalan politicians and activists still remain in Spanish custody after a judge denied bail for the separatist leaders — including the erstwhile vice president of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras, who was campaigning for the elections on December 21 from behind bars. Six other former Catalan ministers were freed on bail by the court.

The first time the Catalan parliament convened again was to elect a speaker of the house. Roger Torrent, from the leftwing Esquerra Republicana party, was chosen as a speaker on January 17. He called for an immediate end of Spanish rule over Catalonia and criticised the Spanish courts’ decision to keep three separatists in detention pending trial.

This morning, Friday March 23, a Spanish supreme court judge has charged 13 senior Catalan leaders, including the region’s deposed president and the candidate chosen to succeed him, with rebellion over their roles in last year’s unilateral referendum and the subsequent declaration of independence.

The charges, announced by Judge Pablo Llarena, carry a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment and were brought against both Carles Puigdemont, the former president in exile in Belgium, and Jordi Turul, who faces a vote on Saturday to take up the post. Llarena said that Catalan separatists had colluded for the past six years to execute a plan to declare Catalonia’s independence. The court did not give a date for the trial.

What else has been going on?
– Carles Puigdemont criticized the Spanish judge’s decision to charge him and 12 other Catalan separatists with rebellion
– A Spanish Supreme Court judge is requiring the 14 members of the former Catalan Cabinet to pay a collective deposit of 2.1 million euros before an upcoming trial establishes whether they misused public funds for an illegal independence referendum
– Llarena said that 25 Catalans will be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobedience
– Also charged with rebellion are Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras, former Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, separatist activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart and ERC party leader Marta Rovira, who on Friday announced that she was fleeing Spain
– Catalonia has been without a leader for nearly five months after central authorities took control following the illegal independence declaration

We have interviewed Jordi Vilanova, Translator, Social Media Manager, Radio Producer & Host in Catalunya, regarding the current trends in Catalonia and posed the following questions:

Will there be new elections for a regional president with new candidates and how long do you think Catalonia will be without a leader?
According to parliamentary rules, as the session to appoint the President had been adjourned by the Speaker (the presiding officer) Roger Torrent, the process was frozen, until yesterday. Now, if the candidate Jordi Turull is imprisoned (pending trial) he cannot attend the session tomorrow so he cannot be appointed. In theory. So, if no other candidate is found, i.e. one who will be voted by a majority of members, no government can be formed. This can go on for exactly two months from today. Then, parliament is dissolved and elections are called by the current President. Not Puigdemont, who was deposed by the Spanish government, but by the acting President, Rajoy, 54 days later. So, Sunday 15 July.

Do you think Catalans are losing faith in becoming independent?
Yes. Numbers are declining, according to surveys. But then, the survey was saying the same before the last elections, and more people voted pro-independence candidates than ever!

What has actually changed in the end, apart from politicians in jail and chaos? Will the whole issue just start back from square zero as soon as a leader is chosen?
The issue will not simply go away. The Catalans will want to form a government now as soon as possible, but the far-left radical pro-Independence CUP, who refused to vote for Jordi Turull, will continue to pressure to declare the Republic. The other Independence parties will want to re-establish a ‘home-rule’ (British term for ‘autonomous’) government. They will however not give up and will continue planning for the establishment of a Catalan Republic.

Do you think there can be some sort of compromise?
The Spanish don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘compromise’ when the Nation is concerned. They are extremely nationalist in this sense.

Therefore, it remains exciting to wait and see what will happen next. While some Catalans might have lost the motivation to fight for independence, others believe in it more than ever, although Madrid is very eager to undermine their power. Stay up to date with Barcelona City FM!

Laura Kabelka
[email protected]

Exploring The Exotic World Of Supercar Rental And Experiences With David Jane (Drive Me Group)


David Jane gives us the low down on the exciting world of supercar rental and driving experiences right here in Barcelona. Formed in 2015,  Drive Me Group now offers a range of services designed to help almost anyone try the supercar lifestyle. From its short driving experiences to full membership of its supercar club Drive Me Group also offers the raw and visceral challenge of taking on the race track.