The number of new companies created in Spain in November last year fell by 3.7 percent compared to the same month of the previous year (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). November 2010 saw 6,678 new trading companies (sociedades mercantiles) registered in Spain, according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics. While this was a decrease compared to the previous year, it was a rise of 21.6 percent in comparison to October 2010. The fall follows a year-on-year trend that started in September last year after eight consecutive months when the number of new companies rose.
The FC Barcelona football team proved yesterday that they're only human, losing 3-1 at Betis, the first time they'd lost after 28 consecutive matches of wins or draws (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Although Betis played an excellent match, they were knocked out of the Copa del Rey contest thanks to the 5-0 scoreline that Barça achieved in the first leg of the confrontation last week at the Camp Nou; the aggregate score of 6-3 means that Barça go into the semi-finals of the competition where they will meet Almería. The Andalucian team was notably better than the Catalan one during the majority of last night's match, despite the fact that they play in the second division of the Spanish league. Both Messi and Xavi were in FC Barcelona's starting 11, although coach Pep Guardiola did decide to rest some of the normal line-up; Betis were also missing their main goal-scorer, Rubén Castro. Guardiola had said ahead of the game that Betis were a dangerous rival and the 'green and whites' proved him right in the first minute with a goal from Jorge Molina.
Artur Mas, the president of the Generalitat, has said that the Spanish government is responsible for Catalunya's current public budget deficit (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Mas said that the state had passed the national deficit to the autonomous communities and that the stabilising of the Catalan public finances is a priority that his cabinet is already working on. He added that behind-the-scenes negotiations with Madrid on the matter had already started. This is despite the tough words that have been publicly exchanged between the Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Mas in recent days regarding the spending of the autonomous communities, with Zapatero warning the regional governments that they need to significantly cut costs otherwise the Spanish government will intervene. It is expected that the Catalan Finance Department will release a new budgetary plan next Thursday.