A new competition law, which should be approved by the Spanish Congress by the end of the year, will make it illegal for telesales companies to hide their number when ringing potential clients (article in Castilian, El Periodico). As a result of this new law, consumers will have an opportunity to reject or ignore such phone calls. In addition, it should make it easier for consumers to make a complaint about a company if they wish; for example, if a company continues to call despite the consumer telling them that they are not interested in the products or services on offer, the new law will mean that the person would have the phone number of the company, which can be used in the complaint process.
A judge has ordered that a thief must stay at least one kilometre from the department store El Corte Inglés in Plaça Catalunya (article in Castilian, El Periodico). This is the first time that such a sentence has been imposed in Catalunya and responds to a case where a shoplifter has repeatedly stolen items from the city centre store. On Tuesday, the judge passed a sentence fining the accused, Demetris A., to pay the penalty that is laid down in the penal code for shoplifting, which he was caught doing last Friday, but the judge also imposed a restraining order that will last for six months. The Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, recently said there were keen for judges to start using restraining orders in this way against re-offenders because as the current law stands, there is little else that can be done to prevent many repeat criminals from continuing to break the law. In the future, it may also be applied to pickpockets in Barcelona, some of whom are well known to police and have already been arrested tens of times.
Catalunya saw a significant rise in the number of abortions carried out here last year, with an increase of 16 percent compared to 2007 (article in Catalan, Avui). More than 25,000 women in Catalunya had an abortion in 2008, some 3,500 more than the previous year. On a national level, Catalunya is the autonomous region that sees the second highest number of abortions in all of Spain; with 16.49 abortions per 1,000 residents, the quantity is five times greater than the Spanish average. According to the Health Ministry, the average profile of a woman who has an abortion here is a single woman aged between 25 and 29 who doesn’t have children. The majority of abortions are carried out at eight weeks of pregnancy or earlier and take place in private clinics.
Also in the news: Residents protest against corruption in front of Santa Coloma town hall (La Vanguardia); Plans to renovate three of Barcelona’s most-used metro stations (El Periodico); Rise in number of Barcelona’s Latin gangs and risk of violence between them (Avui)