The Spanish government is to study changing the official retirement age to 67 from 65 (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). At a cabinet meeting to be held today, ministers will look at a report into the proposal prepared by the Ministry of Work, which could see a reform of the public pension system here up to 2030. The change would affect anyone now aged 52 or less, although it would likely be introduced using a staggered system between 2013 and 2025; thus in 2013, the legal age for retirement will be 65 years and two months, in 2014 it will be 65 years and four months, and so on, until by 2025, the official age for retirement would be 67.
The Catalan government has declared the sound of church-bells to be part of the region’s official ‘sound heritage’, which means that they cannot be subject to noise restrictions (read article in Catalan here, Avui). A new law that is coming in to regulate daily activity in religious centres and venues in Catalunya will thus exclude the sounds of bells from conditions regarding acoustic levels. This is a blow for those residents who live close to a church and are unhappy with the sound of the bells ringing, some of whom have taken parish administrators to court over the issue. However, the bells will still not be able to exceed the maximum decibel limit set in each town.
The law introduced at the end of last year by the Catalan government banning happy hours and similar offers on alcohol seems to be having the opposite effect to the one sought (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). An investigation by La Vanguardia into whether bars and night-clubs are following the law found that not only are there many incidences of non-compliance with the regulation but that various venues have reacted to it by simply reducing their prices—a reaction that is completely at odds with what is recommended by the World Health Organisation. La Vanguardia found that bars are still advertising happy hours on their menus while others have removed such promotions and instead have reduce the cost of a beer or jug of sangria. However, the paper’s reporter did find examples of venues that are adhering to the new law: for instance, the Irish pub Flaherty’s in the Plaça Joaquim Xirau, which has got rid of its happy hour on cocktails (that were three euros on special offer, but now cost four).
Also in the news: Barça earns €8 million in six months (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Zapatero considers closing a ministry as part of his austerity plan (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Generalitat auditor implicated in Palau de la Música fraud case (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico)