Artur Mas has used the success of the CiU at the recent elections to legitimise social cutbacks (read article in Castilian here, El País). The victory of the CiU party on Sunday's elections has led the president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, to say that the contested social cuts were the only way to return to stability and a balanced budget. A week after the Catalan government approved budgets containing cuts of some €2,700 million, Mas, speaking to an audience of academics, businessmen and university graduates, spoke of how a family must cut spending to cope with their debts (a favourite simile of the president), and said that those who do not reduce spending will crash, referring to Greece and Portugal. During the electoral campaign Mas repeatedly criticised union demonstrations against the cuts, and again yesterday reduced them to what he called a "noisy minority" who were trying to "impress" and introduce doubts. Mas also stated that a balanced budget is not the only deficit that Catalunya must overcome. According to the president, the comunidad has to improve education and reduce unemployment. Mas urged workers to emulate the models of other countries who have offset the loss of jobs with flexible arrangements and called for teachers to adopt the "strong values" ethos of the CiU party.
Outgoing mayor Jordi Hereu met yesterday with Xavier Trias for the first time since the recent election (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). According to sources from both parties, Trias and Hereu agreed to delegate the transition to a committee composed of Joaquim Forn and Sonia Recasens of the incoming administration and Jordi William Carnes and Assumpta Escarp, from the outgoing government with the transfer of roles to be completed by June 11th. Of more concern to Hereu however was his intention before leaving office to present the public with an audited balance sheet of the financial situation of the Ayuntamiento to which Trias agreed. Hereu admitted that the role of the PSC party would now be one of opposition and added that "our task is to ensure that the city model that we have defended will be followed and that if anything changes we will oppose." Speaking at a press conference held yesterday, Carles Martí, who will continue to lead the Socialist Federation, said of their parties loss that it was due to their lack of "connecting with young people" and that their work had not been well received by citizens.
Protesters currently camped out in Plaça Catalunya have asked for police protection if celebrations of a Barça win take place in Canaletes this Saturday (read article in Castilian here El Periodico). Barça are due to play Manchester United in the final of the Champions League on Saturday and if they secure a win then celebrations are very likely to take place near to where the protestors have set up camp. Los indignados, who are protesting against mass unemployment, have said that they will refuse to move, prompting the Ayuntamiento and Conselleria d'Interior to suggest a relocation of the traditional celebration to the Arc de Triomf area of the city. The concerns of the protesters have not be placated by this idea forcing them to seek assistance from the local administration and asking the police for assurance that they will have police protection to avoid involvement in possible riots. The campers have insisted that their attitude to Saturday will be peaceful and passive and they have discussed the possibility of sending a statement of this conciliatory message to the media. The protesters, present in Barcelona and Madrid vow to stay until next Sunday.