The Spanish government is to increase income tax (IRPF) for those citizens who earn more than €120,000 (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The decision is expected to be formally announced tomorrow, when the Spanish cabinet has approved the national budgets for 2011, but it is known that the finishing touches are being applied to a new level of income tax for high earners; it is expected that the current tax level of 43 percent will rise to 45 or 47 percent for those whose income is €120,000 or €130,000, according to governmental sources. Speaking yesterday in the Spanish congress, Vice-President and Finance Minister, Elena Salgado, said it was possible that the income tax rise might only be a small adjustment, without going into further details. Experts say that the move would be more political than economic, leading only to additional income for the government of some €185 million.
Barcelona mayor Jordi Hereu has said that he isn't aware that his party, the Catalan Socialists (PSC) wants to get rid of him (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Speaking this morning on Catalan television, Hereu said he wants to stand for next year's municipal elections to serve another term as mayor, and that he doesn't see any significance in the fact that he doesn't appear in a video made by his party about the future of the Catalan capital and the PSC campaign to retain the mayorship."I don't have to appear in the video, the protagonist is Barcelona," insisted the mayor, who has been in post since September 2006.
The Catalan film Pa Negre was presented yesterday at the San Sebastian film festival and the producers are hopeful that it could pick up an award (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Adapted from a novel by Emili Teixidor and starring Sergi Lopez, it's a rural drama set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War that deals with the end of childhood innocence in a style said to be far different from previous Spanish films set in that era - director Agustí Villarronga said Pa Negre (Black bread) deals less with the politics of the time than the people.
Also in the news: Almost half a million cars expected to leave Barcelona for Mercè long weekend (read article in Catalan here, Avui); Spanish government and unions reach agreement on minimum services for general strike next Wednesday (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); French general strike today affects flights and trains in and out of Barcelona (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico).