Black economy increases GDP by 4.5%
Spain is joining other European countries in giving statistics for the size of its black economy. The National Statistics Institute estimates that Spain's GDP would increase by between 2.7% and 4.5% if illegal activities, including prostitution, drug trafficking and smuggling, were counted. In Portugal the figure accounts for 0.4% of total GDP and in the UK the number stands at 0.6%. According to the INE the illegal ecoomy must be included in GDP calculation before 2016.
Cannabis club closed down
A judge has ordered the closure of a cannabis club in the Raval for drug trafficking. Police observed an individual leading people from the street into the club, where they were registered and could then buy marijuana. There are currently 400 clubs in Catalunya which operate as not-for-profit associations.
King free to abdicate
Congress voted in favour of a law that enables King Juan Carlos to officially abdicate in favour of his son Felipe. Some socialists voted against or abstained to express their discontent for the continuing monarchy. A recent poll showed around 62 percent of Spaniards support a referendum on the future of the monarchy.
Economy set to grow
The Spanish association of savings banks has predicted the economy will grow by 1.4% this year and 2.2% in 2015 and unemployment will fall by over one million people by the end of next year. Unemployment currently stands at 24.5%. A decrease to 22.6% would require the creation of 90,000 new jobs.
Works continue on Pl. Glòries
Vehicles will stop circulating on the Pl. Glòries viaduct as the new phase of works starts. This will last for three to four years while the viaduct is demolished and the underground tunnel is built. This phase will also include the reconstructing of the sea-facing side of the square which has been discussed and agreed with the local residents. Plans include a viewing tower, children's playground and a wheat field...
Racism in clubs
SOS Racisme carried out a "testing night" in Barcelona to see which night clubs were discriminating against immigrants. Several local and immigrant couples visited a number of clubs. In several cases the immigrants were turned away at the door with the excuse of not being on the guest list whereas the local couples were always allowed in.
Property sales up by 13%
The sale of homes in Catalunya in April this year rose by 13.1% compared with April 2013. The national average for the period was 5.3%.