The president of the Diputación de Barcelona, Salvador Esteve is to oppose the removal of power from small municipalities ( read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Speaking to Europa Press, Esteve has called for a serious review of what needs to be done in each municipality and has said that it was unfair to lay the problems of the current situation at the feet of each one. His statements come after the Generalitat suggested the removal or reduction in some of the powers given to smaller municipalities in a bid to improve their financial situations. In opposition to this Esteve has called for a continuation of the assistance offered to local councils regardless of their size and to devote maximum resources to each consistory. He went on to lament the fact that the economic crisis was being used as an "excuse" and has stopped reviews of local funding. Esteve, mayor of Martorell and president of the Asociación Catalana de Municipios (ACM) has asked that before any decisions are made that serious dialogue between all administrations was undertaken. Joan Cañada, director general of the Administración Local de la Generalitat, speaking on TV3 said that "it is unacceptable that a municipality of 200 have the same powers as one that has 200,000 and we need to review this."
Xavier Trias has warned that subway and bus fares could rise substantially (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Significant expansion, the improved quality of public transportation in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, plus the opening of further sections to the system, has all increased bills and Trias, warned that the Autoridad Metropolitana del Transporte (ATM), was in an "impossible situation financially". The mayor said that he could see only two possible solutions, that the Generalitat pay more to the consortium or that ticket prices could be raised. Currently the ATM, due to an absence of any laws on financing public transport, have to renegotiate contracts every two years. Trias pointed out that one of the factors in increased costs was extending metro services during football games which costs €30,000 of public funds each time. Trias acknowledged that he was studying whether these extensions in service were indeed profitable. In a dig at the former mayor Jordi Hereu, Trias referred to the Generalitat's own financial situation saying that contrary to what his predecessor thought they did not have €300 million to spend on what ever they wanted.
Catalunya is to take twice as long to pay pharmaceutical laboratories who supply medicine to the health system (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). Due to a lack of funds the Generalitat are being forced to pay health care providers, including laboratories that supply medicines to patients, 65 days late in a measure that will be applied from this month and will be enforced indefinitely. In addition to this the Generalitat can also now not guarantee that back payments will be reduced from next month. The increased delay comes against a backdrop of cuts of 10 percent in funding, nearly €1,000 million, to the public health system. However this is far from being a problem in Catalunya alone, Boí Ruiz the Minister of Health, speaking on TVE's 59 segundos, said that in actual fact Catalunya was one of the regions that were paying suppliers most quickly. The average delay in payments across the country is around 14 months. In response to this, companies were growing increasingly nervous with Roche, the Swiss global health-care company, stopping the supply of some medicines to hospitals in Spain due to back payments of over 4 years. The debt of Spanish public hospitals reached a staggering €5,191 million in March and according to some employers has already exceeded €5,400 million.