The Mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu admitted yesterday that he had in fact failed to vote on Monday morning despite denying to cameras that there were abnormalities in the system (read article here, in Castilian, La Vanguardia). At 10am yesterday morning the spokesman for the consultation Ramón Garcia Bragado was still insisting that Hereu's vote had been cast that morning but by noon yesterday, the Mayor acknowledged that he hadn't actually been successful in casting his vote when he said he had. The consultation over the future of the Diagonal is starting to become a real headache for the Mayor as the La Vanguardia newspaper revealed breaches of security in the system after tests conducted by the paper yesterday afternoon confirmed that voters could in fact vote twice using different voting methods. The paper launched investigations to verify a complaint made by the PP leader Alberto Fernández Diaz, after he tried to vote at the City Hall but was told that he couldn't and that someone using his identity had already placed a vote. The municipal president of the CiU party, Xavier Trias, demanded that the mayor apologise to the people of Barcelona for having lied about his missed vote, claiming the event to be "very serious."
José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is to meet with trade unions today in order to curb the calls for a general strike in reaction to financial cuts announced yesterday (read articles in Castilian, here, El Pais). Zapatero is to meet with the trade unions today but they've already warned about a predictable collapse of social peace and that predicted demonstrations were just around the corner. Neither Candido Mendez, the secretary general of the UGT or Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, the CCOO leader spoke openly of a general strike but Toxo stated "I do not exclude any scenario". Both were still open to continue current negotiations over labour reform but Mendez proclaimed yesterday that "Nobody can overlook that this cut does not help the agreement, it hurts". At 1.30pm today they will meet with Zapatero but it's expected that although the President will listen to the two leaders' concerns it is unlikely he will pay more attention to them than to the demands of the European Union and the markets. However the voices of dissent were already being heard, Julio Lacuerda, the leader of the Federación de Servicios Públicos de UGT claimed that "it deserves a public service strike". The union president of the CSI-CSIF, Domingo Fernandez, who was told of the cuts on Tuesday night, spoke of going to court to stop the government plans. Late yesterday his union called for a general strike in administration but did not specify the day.
The auction house Soler y Llach in Barcelona has been accused of trying to sell images with false signatures by the French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Henri Cartier Bresson Foundation, based in Paris has said, "This sale is grotesque", asking, "How can they sell prints and photographs, knowingly stolen and with false signatures?" Josep Martinez, the man behind the attempted sale, is known by the Foundation and for several years has been in contact with them to discuss the runs of prints that he buys and sells primarily on eBay. Aude Raimbault, of the Foundation said, "Martine Frank, (widow of Cartier-Bresson) and myself have repeatedly stated that only you can sell collectible signed prints, all other runs, with the stamp of the photographer and the Magnum Photography Agency, are for press use only. He went on to add "Cartier-Bresson made clear that all press runs have always been their own property and they can not be sold under any circumstances. The auction, which is scheduled for the 27th of this month, includes numerous pictures which have the letterhead of the Brazilian agency Manchete which specifies that the prints rights are granted only for reproduction not for exhibition or sale. Of the 66 images in the auction, only two or three are true collectible signed prints by Cartier-Bresson himself. All the others are press runs with a imitated signature - the photographer notable never signed prints intended for the press.
Also in the news: The Catalan President, José Montilla, has announced a copied cut of the salary of members of Government and senior officials, including his own (read article in Castilian, in full here, La Vanguardia). The UK has taken the decision to withdraw from circulation the €500 note after it was revealed by the Organized Crime Agency that only 10 percent of the notes coming into the country are used in legitimate activities (read article in Castilian, in full here El Economista).