The Spanish Employment minister, Celestino Corbacho, has said that the worst of the crisis has passed and that unemployment in Spain won’t top 20.5 percent (article in Catalan, Avui). In an exclusive interview with the Catalan newspaper Avui, Corbacho spoke about the possibility of a “timid recovery” starting now that will see an end to job positions being destroyed, which many view as an important step in coming out of the crisis. He also said that he didn’t rule out the possibility that the start of 2010 would see a new wave of jobs being created.
A survey carried out on behalf of Catalan newspaper El Periodico has found that, as things stand, just one in every 10 Catalans would be willing to vote for FC Barcelona Joan Laporta if he was running for political office (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Although the same investigation found that Laporta is at least as well known, and in some cases more so, than the main Catalan politicians and regarded as a good president of Barça, the public is still hesitant to support him in his much-talked-about possible move into politics when his reign at the sports club comes to an end next year. Seventy-two percent of those who took part in the poll said they were sure that Laporta wants to make the move. However, the majority of those questioned, 62 percent, said they didn’t think that Laporta should be making incursions into the political arena while he is still in charge of Barça; in recent times, Laporta has become increasingly outspoken about the future of Catalunya and taken part in marches with independence parties. Of those asked, the majority said that they imagined that if Laporta did decide on a political career, he would opt for either the left-wing republican independence party, Esquerra Republicana (ERC), or central nationalist party, Convergencia i Unió.
The Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) has ordered an investigation into how media were given access to film and photograph the nine men arrested in the recent corruption case based in Santa Coloma de Gramenet (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The events occurred last Friday evening when the accused arrived in Madrid from Catalunya where they were to appear before the Judge Baltasar Garzón; the waiting press pack were able to clearly see the men, in handcuffs, collecting their personal belongings, which had been put into rubbish bags, before they entered the court building. The pictures were quickly shown on the internet, and later on news programmes and published in daily newspapers, much to the upset of family members and the anger of the accused men’s lawyers. The investigation wants to try to avoid a similar incident happening in the future, rather than to place the blame on anyone in particular.
Also in the news: Plans to introduce stronger Bicing bikes to reduce vandalism (El Periodico); Climate change delegates in Barcelona for debate in advance of December’s Copenhagen meeting (La Vanguardia); Majority approve holding of popular vote on Catalan independence, but would vote against the proposal (La Vanguardia)