Falling food prices could mean a cheaper Christmas for many Spaniards, with fish and seafood available for up to 10 percent less than a year ago (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). As well as the reduction in prices for fish and seafood, fruit and vegetables are also cheaper than at Christmas 2008, by around 3.5 percent. The best places to find these reductions is in the local markets where it is possible to find some fish at the same prices as 17 years ago, including hake (merluza), sea bream (besugo) and monkfish (rape), although in general, the prices today are at about the level of 2003, according to a spokeswoman from the Fish and Seafood Wholesalers Association of Barcelona. In terms of fruit, good offers can be found on mangoes, melons, pineapples, bananas, apples and citrus fruits. However, there is always an exception to the rule, and this time it’s grapes, which have increased in price by 65 percent.
The anti-crisis agreement that the Catalan government is planning to put into place next year will include a provision for an unemployment monthly payment of €425 for self-employed workers (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The emergency measure has been suggested to help those freelancers who are unable to find work, because as the current system stands they are not eligible for the state unemployment benefit. The payment will last for six months and there will be a budget of €13 million to cover its costs, as well as for the promotion of the self-employment system; it is one of the most original features in the list of 30 measures that the Generalitat has created, following talks with trade union representatives and employers’ organisations.
A three-year study that has examined the fate of young unaccompanied immigrants arriving in Spain has found that there has been a growth in the number of girls arriving alone and that the children are coming from more countries than previously (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The majority of the 15,000 minors who have arrived in the past 10 years came from Morocco, but there has also been a rise in those coming from Eastern Europe, especially Romania, and sub-Saharan nations including Senegal, Mali and Ghana. Many of the young girls who come find themselves exploited in some way, whether it be to beg money or to work as prostitutes; often they are forced into these roles by older male family members already living here or ‘boyfriends’. In the past four years, 105 underage girls are known have arrived in Catalunya. The study was done by the Grup de Recerca d’Infància I Família en Ambients Multiculturals from the Foundation Pere Tarrés, which is part of the Universitat Ramon Llull.
Also in the news: Palau de la Música recovers €3.6 million from effects of fraudster (Avui); Moroccan woman on hunger strike in Lanzarote goes voluntarily to hospital (La Vanguardia); Barça make it to World Club Cup final (Avui)