The total of unemployed has fallen for the first time since December 2009 to below four million (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Catalunya has 20,475 fewer people unemployed than in the previous month, this is the best recorded figure since June 1997. This is the third consecutive decline since May when unemployment was reduced by 76,000 people. Secretary general for employment, Maravillas Rojo, said in a statement that the fall in unemployment in June represents the largest monthly decline in the last five years, which in their view, confirms that the huge problems with employment are gradually getting better. By sector, there were declines in almost all, except in the group of those without previous employment, which increased by 915 people and agriculture, which recorded an increase of 174. The construction sector was also a positive factor in reducing the number of unemployed for the fourth consecutive month, with 21,253 fewer unemployed. The largest decline, however was in the service industry, where there were 46,268 fewer people unemployed.
TMB is to invest four million euros to fight passengers travelling with a ticket (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The operator will install gates valves in 10 suburban stations, particularly on the L-1. The plan is aimed at the increasing problems of passengers using the underground, railway, tram lines and buses without a valid ticket and is thought to be about preventing further degradation to the image of the company. The gate valves in 10 metro stations will be implemented in Hostafrancs, Florida, Navas and in the Rambla stations. Currently 62 of the 134 stations already have these gates. The valves are those screens of double clear plastic that slide, and only open when the light signals. The time of these gates can be adjusted, and now are scheduled, to prevent accidents and those travelling without a ticket slipping in behind paying pasengers. In the metro system these will be reinforced by support staff at those stations (up to 36) where the company's studies have found the highest level of fraud. The weekly cost of this is thought to be €35,220, and the annual cost will run to almost two million euros. The third aspect of the project will be to carry out a "massive intervention" by running auditors throughout the system, doing spot-checks on passengers, checking they are in possession of a valid ticket. These mass actions will also take place on the buses. TMB are also to invest €50,000 in upgrading technology in July to enable the teams to implement the fines imposed.
News of the discovery of an unpublished work of Diego Velázquez, La educación de la Virgen, in the basement of the Museum of Yale University was meet by those in the art world with both undisguised satisfaction and caution (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The general feeling is that of patience as they wait to hear the views of international experts in the days ahead to confirm that it is indeed the work of Velázquez. An authority in the field, Jonathan Brown is convinced there are more unpublished works by Velázquez, still unknown. The director of the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Antonio Bonet Correa, called yesterday for an international conference in which they can debate over the authorship of the painting found at Yale. The discovery of the painting is down to John Marciari, senior curator of European art at the Museum of Fine Arts in San Diego. Who yesterday, seemed a little overwhelmed by the media attention his discovery caused, but speaking to El Pais said, that his wish was to see the picture displayed in the Museo del Prado. In his first study, the professor describes and analyzes the style, technique and composition of the painting to finally ensure that the painting was made during the early years of the painter's career, around 1617, and went on to say that it is the most significant discovery that has been made about the artist's work in the last century. Benito Navarrete, director of the Centro Velázquez de Sevilla and professor of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, believes that the work is "a very important painting" adding, "It is essential for the formation of the first Velázquez." The future of the painting is in debate with many people thinking it should be shipped to the Prado gallery in Madrid, which has the largest collection of work by the Spanish painter, whilst others think it should remain at Yale.
Also in the news: University enrollment in Catalunya has falled by 2.5 percent (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia).