The president of the Generalitat, Artus Mas, spent much of yesterday in meetings with the leaders of the other political parties in parliament in an effort to ensure a consensus at today's meeting on the anti-crisis measures to be taken in Catalunya (read article in Catalan here, Avui).Mas is hoping that he will come out of today's meeting with a signed pact on the steps to be taken by the government to deal with its current financial problems, even if the agreement is reached with the bare minimum of majorities. Following his meeting on Wednesday with the leading spokesman of the Catalan Socialist Party, Joaquim Nadal, yesterday Mas held talks with Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, leader of the Partido Popular, Joan Herrero of Iniciativa per a Catalunya and Joan Puigcercós, the leader of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya. In addition, Mas spoke on the phone with many of his closest collaborators, as well as other politicians and social and economic contacts. As well as the political parties, the meeting will be attended by representatives of trade unions, the employers' association (padronal) and the organisation in charge of economic reactivation (CAREC). There is general agreement that a common message has to be launched about how to tackle the crisis regardless of ideological differences.
The number of young people who are neither studying nor working (known as 'ni-nis', meaning ni estudiar ni trabajar) in Spain has fallen by 40 percent as a result of the crisis (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). A survey carried out into the active working population found that while in the third quarter of 2009 there were 136,000 people in the 16 to 29 age group who weren't working or studying (and often were resistant to doing either), in the last quarter of 2010, that number had fallen to just over 80,000. The authors of a report into this phenomenon say that the fall is due to a seasonal effect (it is normal that young people start studying in September or October when many courses begin) and the fact that some 'ni-nis' have changed their approach. Sociologist Enrique Carreras said that while they were not looking to enter the traditional employment market, some of these young people had undertaken domestic tasks, such as caring for younger family members or other dependents, and/or had returned to studying, because "they are aware that they have to be prepared." The authors of the report also said that the term 'ni-ni' should be abandoned because it represents such a small minority of these age group, between 1.73 percent (in the third quarter of 2009) and 1.06 percent (final quarter of 2010).
The Spanish government confirmed yesterday that it will not move backwards in its policy towards the 'canon digital' [a tax that is applied to various digital recording methods, such as blank CDs and DVDs, and which is then paid to authors, editors, producers and artists belonging to artists' rights associations in compensation for the private recording carried out] despite a new judicial ruling against it (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). A sentence published yesterday from the Audiencia Nacional said that the latest prices of the tax were lacking full rights due to a defect in format; however, the court didn't order that money paid for this tax be refunded.The Spanish culture minister Ángeles González-Sinde yesterday was forced to confirm that the ruling wouldn't change the government's plans regarding the tax or cancelling the right to compensation for private recording. However, she did say that the formal defects would be corrected.