Various towns in Spain are bearing witness to a conflict between councils and nudists over the rights of the latter to use local beaches (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). In the Maresme town of Malgrat de Mar, naturists can be fined up to €200 for being naked on the beach, while the south-western Spanish town of Cadiz has recently introduced a law that could see naturists fined up to €750. Council members in the towns defend the rights of families not to feel uncomfortable by having nudists share their beach, and say they have had complaints from parents over the matter, while naturist organisations argue that nudity is not an issue for children and that it is the grown-ups who are making this into a problem.
A study of European service stations has found that Spanish services are the worst on the continent (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Problems such as a lack of toilets, poor lighting, rubbish, no disabled access and picnic tables located very close to the motorway are just some of the reasons given for the low rating of Spanish stopping areas on roads. Around a hundred service stations in 16 different European countries were included in the study, which was organised by various automobile associations around the continent. Of the eight looked at in Spain, not a single one reached the standards set by the investigators, with one being ranked 'unsatisfactory' and the rest 'very unsatisfactory'; five of the service stations visited are located in Catalunya.
In the face of a growing public deficit, the Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, could be considering an increase in taxes on high-level incomes (article in Catalan, Avui). With rising costs due to the need for increasing unemployment benefits (such as the additional €420 subsidy announced last week), financial aid to important national industry and a fall in the money it receives from the public, the Socialist government appears to see raising income tax as the only solution to its problem. According to the Minister of Public Works, José Blanco, interviewed on Spanish radio yesterday, this is the most appropriate option to deal with the cash shortfall faced by the government; however, he later stressed that this was a "personal reflection". If taxes were increased, it would be a dramatic turnaround from just two months ago when the Finance Minister, Elena Salgado, stated that there would be no rise in income tax this year. If the tax rate did go up for those earning €52,360 or more a year, around a million people would be affected.
Also in the news: French farmers cause tailbacks on Catalan motorway with fruit protest (La Vanguardia); Montjuïc magic fountain praised by tourists (El Periodico); Financial Times discusses Catalunya's role in modern Spain (Avui)