The president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, has described the attack yesterday on the mayor of Girona, Carles Puigdemont, as "intolerable" (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Puigdemont (who is from the same party as Mas, Convergència i Unió) was on his way to a conference being given by the Catalan health minister, Boi Ruiz, at the Espai Caixa in Girona when he was insulted and assaulted by a group of protestors demonstrating against cuts to health spending in Catalunya (link to article in El Periodico); Puigdemont was surrounded by some of the demonstrators who threw objects at him, kicked him and blocked his access to the venue. The mayor was left with bruises on his legs and one on his face. Mas said that any demonstration was legitimate so long as it was peaceful, but that when they take a violent turn, then such demonstrations lose all credibility. "Elected representatives chosen by the people are not only themselves, but they also have behind them all those people who voted for them and who have accepted the democratic results," added Mas.
The Constitutional Court has decided that the Barcelona council seat that has been the focus of a 'tug-of-war' between Convergència i Unió (CiU) and the Partido Popular (PP) should be filled by a member of the latter party (read article in Catalan here, Avui). This means that the PP will now have nine councillors in Barcelona, while the CiU loses one to have 14. As such, the court has agreed with the PP over its claim to the seat for which it had demanded a vote recount (which led to a delay in new mayor Xavier Trias being able to take office). The PP brought its claim to the Constitutional Court after the Superior Catalan Justice Court originally awarded it the seat, then changed its mind, leaving CiU with 15 council seats. It is expected that the court will notify those involved of its decision at some point today.
Those banks that have failed the European stress tests, whose results are announced today at 6pm, won't have to re-capitalise (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The Bank of Spain will take into account capital elements that the European organisation in charge of the tests (European Banking Authority, EBA) has excluded from the official results, which means that no Spanish banks or savings banks will have to seek extra capital beyond that which has already been provided for in the re-capitalisation process of the sector. This is the conclusion drawn from information released yesterday by two of the entities that are expected to fail the test, Banco Pastor and CatalunyaCaixa (UNNIM and CAM are also forecast to fail). The results of the tests are going to include two key marks: the first, which will determine if a bank passes or fails, includes the public financial assistance from the FROB (fund set up by the Spanish government to finance struggling banks), including both those that have already received FROB money and those that have been told they will receive it in the near future; however, other capital won't be included in this assessment (e.g. generic provisions set up before the crisis to absorb losses resulting from possible future difficulties), and it is this omission by the EBA that will see some entities ostensibly fail the test. A second mark will take all such funds into account and by this measure, all Spanish financial entities will past the EBA stress test; it is this mark, according to Banco Pastor and CatalunyaCaixa, that the Bank of Spain will consider regarding re-capitalisation.