The PSOE party was alone in voting in favour of the proposed labour reform Royal decree (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The decree is to be processed as a bill as an emergency procedure in the Congress unanimously. The decree went through by 168 votes to 173 abstentions. Within the Socialist parliamentary group Antonio Gutiérrez, former Secretary General of CCOO and chairman of the Congressional Committee on Economic Affairs has broken with voting discipline and given his full approval to the royal decree to be treated as a bill for the emergency procedure. The reason behind the support is that the groups wish to improve the bill during parliamentary sessions. Speaking of the absenteeism, prime minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he was not upset with this decision but before voting, he criticised the PP party saying they "did not have the courage" to put on the table its own proposal for labour reform and simply criticise the executive. Labour Minister Celestino Corbacho said of the reforms, that it contributed directly to more than 8 million unemployed people or workers with temporary contracts while maintaining the rights of another 11.5 million employees with stable contracts. The PP spokesman Soraya Sáenz de Santamaria confirmed that her group would abstain in the vote. In their opinion the proposed changes "do not solve old problems" in the job market but it creates new ones which increases the confusion and undermines the legal certainty.
Opponents to the AVE tunnel passing beside the Sagrada Familía won their first major battle yesterday (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). All parliamentary groups except the PSOE and two members of the IU-ICV passed a motion that urges the government to suspend provisionally and immediately the construction of the high-speed line from France as it passed through the Eixample. Despite the defeat the company Fomento warned that they would continue with the work. During the parliamentary debate José Blanco asked the deputies to reject the proposed stoppage on two counts: the halt of works would incur a high cost and a further delay in connecting the high-speed services from France to Spain and the rest of Europe. The High Court has already issued six technical reports to say that there is no risk to the Gaudí Cathedral. A spokesman from Fomento explained last night that the works are to continue and comply with all the security measures set by European Union. Faced with the possibility of a new route deputy Jorge Fernández Díaz explained that the alternative way by Calle València, once approved would only delay the work by six months and would incur only €12 million more than the €400 million, however according to Blanco, the change in route would delay the train by 48 months.
Answering outside calls to reduce the number of children injured during the Sant Joan Festival, the Interior department have said it will intensify their prevention measures (read article in Catalan here, El Punt). Last year around 300 people were injured and this year the Interior Department have increased the number of information sessions in schools and parent associations in order to minimise the risk of incident. The department have called for more responsibility from adults in order to reduce the number of children hospitalised during the fiesta, where in 2009, 78 percent of those admitted were children. For the first year the safety campaign has the cooperation of around 60 volunteers from the diables de Catalunya associations who have contributed their experience in training sessions in schools. A 30,000 copies of a safety leaflet has been circulated throughout by the Department of Education and a total of around 30,000 posters have been printed advising precaution. Of the 279 people admitted to hospital last year, 19 of those cases were for severe burns, 35 for treated for trauma or amputation and 42 were admitted with eye injuries.
Also in the news: South Raval is to receive a €15 million cash injection to improve its streets, squares and public places (read full article in Catalan here, El Punt).