One of the longest-running signing sagas in the history of FC Barcelona appears finally to be coming to an end, with the club confident that they will today close the deal to buy Cesc Fàbregas from Arsenal (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Reports suggest that the London club has all but accepted the latest offer from Barça, with the last remaining phase of the agreement being the approval of the executive director of the club, Ivan Gazidis, which could be given today. The two clubs have moved closer to a deal in the past days, following an unsuccessful meeting on Friday in London attended by Barça's sporting vice-president and the director of football. Yesterday afternoon, a new offer seemed to signal the start of a recovery for the operation. Barça has offered €34 million for the player plus another €6 million for variable items; in addition, the Catalan club has offered payment conditions deemed more favourable to Arsenal. As such, the total now on the table for Cesc is €40 million, somewhat below the original asking price of €46 million, but above what FC Barcelona was initially willing to pay.
There has been another night of fights and disturbances in the Costa Brava town of Lloret de Mar with young tourists confronting police (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Hundreds of young people faced off against officers at the door of a local nightclub, called Colossos, according to sources from the Mossos d'Esquadra, speaking to Europa Press. The incident started when police tried to stop more people going into the trendy club, located on Avenida Just Marlés, because the air-conditioning wasn't working due to an electrical fault, and afterwards they set up a passageway to allow people already in the club to get out. At this point, tourists who wanted to get into the club became frustrated with the police and ended up confronting them, at around two o'clock in the morning. The event resulted in 20 arrests for disorderly conduct, while various rubbish bins in the area of the club were burned. On Monday night, there were confrontations between more than 400 young French and Italian tourists and police when Lloret's discos closed, resulting in the arrest of a 23-year-old French man.
More than 250 pharmacies in Catalunya are in a vulnerable situation due to the Spanish government's spending cuts, according to information from the Consejo General de Colegios Farmacéuticos (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Around 261 chemist businesses in the area are suffering from a situation of "difficult" economic viability, which means that owners make less than €1,500 a month from their business. These figures were already included in a report about the state of pharmacies carried out at the end of 2010, following the cuts ordered by the Spanish government last autumn. However, Pilar Gascón, secretary of the Consell de Col·legis Farmacèutics de Catalunya, confirmed yesterday that these outlooks are "worse", since they haven't yet measured the impact of a new round of cuts that is due to be approved next week by the Spanish government, which will mean a new loss of €2.4 billion for the medication industry. The spending cuts that were approved last year (a reduction of 30 percent in the price of generic medications and 7.5 percent in the rest of those medicines that are prescribed within the public health system) caused, according to sector data, a fall in the turnover of pharmacies working within the national health system between June 2010 and June 2011. "But the cut that will be approved on August 19th by the Cabinet will add a further 20 percent cut to this decrease in turnover, if it is applied all at once," criticised Gascón.