The three parties that currently make up the Catalan government have agreed to reduce the level of inheritance tax in the autonomous community (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). A vote will take place today to bring inheritance tax (Impuesto de Sucesiones y Donaciones) more into line with other regions of Spain, “significantly” reducing the amount that many people who inherit property here will have to pay to the government. Changes will be made to the minimum amount that is exempt from the tax, so fewer people will be required to pay it, the overall aim being that the middle-class ends up paying less compared to those who are more well-off.
Revelations continue to appear about the illegal financial actions of the ex-president of the Palau de la Música Catalana, Fèlix Millet, with the news that he used the organisation's money to pay the debts of politician Àngel Colom (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Colom is the former leader of left-wing Catalan independence party ERC and now forms part of Convergencia Democratica Catalana (CDC). The debts that Millet paid off using money from the Fundació Orfeó Català-Palau de la Música were run up by Colom after he was forced to dissolve the short-lived political party he had created, Partit per la Independència (PI), at the end of 1999. The following year, he approached Félix Millet for financial help and received 12 million pesetas (€72,000) as a result. The money was paid to the foundation Espai Catalunya, an organisation that Colom wanted to use as a lobbying entity for independence, but that was never formally set up; at the time, he was a member of CDC, but had no political responsibility. On the books of the foundation, it shows receipt of a payment for 25 million pesetas, but Colom claims that the amount received was actually half that. Colom also says that he was told by various sources to approach Millet for help, that he told him it was to help with setting up Espai Catalunya but doesn’t remember if he also mentioned the PI debts and that he believed that the money came from the personal funds of Millet.
Five people have had to be hospitalised in northern Catalunya as a result of eating poisonous mushrooms (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The autumn sees the start of the Catalan wild mushroom (bolet) season and many people take the opportunity to go into the countryside to search for different varieties. While many bolets are safe to eat, there are also a number that can be dangerous depending on the quantity ingested. In this case, four members of one family from the Alt Urgell region and a fifth person from Manresa in Bages had to be taken to hospital in the Pyrenean town of La Seu d’Urgell after they suffered high temperatures, intestinal problems and vomiting. The mushroom they had eaten was the fredolic metzinós, which can be easily confused with the edible variety of the mushroom due to their similar appearance; however, there is a small physical difference between them, as the base of the poisonous bolet is ‘full’ whereas the edible one has an empty base. Seventeen people in Andorra were affected in the same way by the fredolic metzinós a few weeks ago.
Also in the news: Film crew break Modernista statue in the Diagonal (La Vanguardia); Catalan politicians already preparing for next year’s Generalitat elections with parliamentary debate manoeuvring (Avui); Protests about €52-million pension to be received by BBVA managing director (Avui)