Zapatero has offered to negotiate union's pensions after the general strike (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). José Rodíguez Zapatero has vowed to resume a dialogue with the unions immediately after the general strike on September 29th. Zapatero defended his labour reforms, that remain the main reasons behind the proposed strike, and has expressed a wish to hold talks on other key trade union issues, such as pensions, youth employment, collective bargaining and the budget. Speaking at a rally in Zaragoza, he said: There are many changes that require a high capacity for dialogue and I, as president, assure you I will do the up most to maintain this dialogue with unions and employers." Zapatero defended his plans to "get Spain out of the crisis, including labour reform." Saying, " reform is necessary, as it is clear that we must reform the pension system because there are many more people who will enter the system and make it a better pension."
The ayuntamiento wavered a ban on graffiti yesterday in order to paint the shutters near the Llibertat Gràcia market (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Yesterday, for one day only, the city granted permission to 40 graffiti artists to paint the shutters of shops in a project that had the approval of traders. The 30 participants had enrolled in the plan Enrotlla't, developed by the architect Jordi Llobell, who wanted to bring together veterans of street graffiti and traders in order to give the area a new colour. "It was not easy. It took over a year to receive a verbal authorisation from the district. At first they said to be it was not possible, but I managed to convince traders and the council finally agreed," said Llobell. The initiative to clean shutters, previously stained with graffiti tags has been put into practice twice before under a scheme called, Persianes Lliures, taking place in the neighbourhoods of Guinardó and in Castelldefels. The Gràcia event also served to renunite graffiti artists of the neighbourhood, many of whom had painted the huge murals in the Eighties, known as Safari Spray, on Calle Torrent de l'O'lla. Speaking of life as a street artist Bre, said "It's hard to make a living from doing shutters alone. There must be around 500 professional graffiti artists in Barcelona."
There has been a fall of 10 percent in heart attacks due to the smoking ban (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The number of people undergoing hospital treatment for heart attacks in the region of Barcelona has fallen 10 percent since the introduction of the anti-smoking law in 2006, according to the department of health. Coinciding with World Heart Day, the government have stressed that the current prevalence of smoking in Catalunya has dropped below 30 percent, a figure, we have not seen ever before. Smoking is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases, which are responsible for nearly 30 percent of deaths in Catalunya. Of the 900,000 hospitals visits, made each year in the region, 12 percent as related to diseases of the circulatory system, although cardiovascular mortality has been declining for 20 years.