Footballers who play in teams in the first and second Spanish divisions are planning a strike for the first two days of the new season, due to start on August 20th (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Iker Casillas, captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, didn't hesitate yesterday to say that the possibility of the stoppage action was more than a threat. "For the moment, I can tell you that [the matches] are not going to be played. It's very difficult," he commented after the president of the Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles (AFE), Luis Rubiales, made official the call to strike in the face of a refusal by the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) to guarantee that certain clubs will meet the debts they have with more than 200 players, which is the main problem holding up the signing of a new employment agreement for professional footballers in Spain and without which, the league cannot start on Saturday 20th. International players including Casillas, Barça captain Carles Puyol, Xabi Alonso, Llorente, Cazorla and Javi Martínez are supporting the trade union representing the players and headed up the group of more than 100 first and second division players, captains and representatives from all the teams who, during a meeting at a Madrid hotel yesterday, decided to unanimously back the strong stand that AFE is taking. The show of solidarity is aimed at showing league bosses that it's time to find a solution to the issue of the outstanding debts, beyond the loopholes of the Competition Law that the clubs use as a backdoor way to not meet their contractual obligations.
Officers of the Catalan police force (Mossos d'Esquadra) are to make regular inspections of clubs and other popular night spots in Lloret de Mar, following several nights of violence between tourists and police in the town (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). In the early hours of this morning, top-level bosses from the Mossos supervised the deployment of forces in Lloret as a way to avoid a repetition of the violence witnessed there in the early hours of both Monday and Thursday nights, the latter of which ended with 20 arrests. The director general of the Mossos, Manel Prat, the territorial commissioner, Manel Castellví and the heads of the Mossos in Girona, were present in the Costa Brava town early this morning to oversee the forces present in the going-out area of Lloret to ensure that there were no violent incidents following the closure of bars and discos. Manel Prat has announced that, together with the Local Police force and the administrative police of the Mossos, they will carry out a "programme of premises inspections to see how each one is and see their security measures." Prat said that this "same work plan" will continue with a rise in the police presence in the town, to make sure that such disturbances don't happen again this month.
The Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) has announced a temporary ban, with immediate effect, on operations involving securities or financial instruments that "imply the constitution or increase of short position on Spanish shares of the financial sector" (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Spanish Authority on Financial Securities said that such short selling would be prohibited for a period in France, Italy and Belgium as well as Spain, as a way to try and end "false rumours" that are causing a lack of stability in the markets. In a press release, the CNMV indicated that the situation of "extreme volatility" in European stock markets, in particular the prices of shares in financial entities, "is clearly influencing the stability of the markets and may disturb its organised functionality." For this reason, it added, "it is necessary to review the operations of the stock markets with the aim of ensuring the continuation of financial stability."