The Generalitat has started a process to sell off 28 buildings valued at €550 million (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Amongst the buildings that it plans to sell are its headquarters of the Education department (Via Augusta 202), Agriculture (Gran Via 612), Territory (Josep Tarradellas 2), Employment (Sepúlveda 148), Environment (Diagonal 523) and the Tax Agency of Catalunya (Fontanella 6). The sale, which is a key part of the Catalan government's efforts to reduce its public debt, is forecast to be completed before the end of the year. The Generalitat, which will continue to rent the buildings once sold, has started two parallel sale processes. The first, created by the consulting firm PWC, directed by the former minister Joaquim Triadú, includes 26 office buildings situated in the centre of Barcelona said to be worth at least €450 million. At the same time, ICF Equipaments, one of the investment arms of the government in the estate agency sector, has put out for public tender the "private contract for services of commercial management" for the sale of the building in Josep Tarradellas (valued at €56 million) along with various other buildings, including a logistics warehouse in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia and nine offices of the Servei Català d'Ocupació, with the three lots collectively valued at €97.8 million.
The Institute of Official Credit (Instituto de Crédito Oficial) will finance half of the debt of Spain's autonomous communities from the years of 2008 and 2009, at a total of €24 billion (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico).The news was revealed yesterday by the Economics minister for the region of Castilla y León, Pilar del Olmo. In turn, the Spanish Economics minister and deputy prime minister, Elena Salgado, said that the communities had unanimously agreed to suggest in their respective parliaments, within the next six months, the approval of a law for "consistent" spending. Salgado described as "useful and complete" the meeting of the Council for Fiscal and Financial Policy (CPFF) that took place yesterday, in which this agreement was adopted, following four hours of meeting with the Economics ministers from each of the autonomous communities. The content of the autonomous community law on spending will be defined by a working group that is due to meet in September with the aim of creating the homogeneous law to be applied across the communities, but it has already been made clear that it will have to take into account the growth of GDP from previous years and the estimate for growth in future years at a state level.
After a July notable for its rain and temperatures lower than normal, it seems that August is set to follow the same trend (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). That's the forecast of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US, an agency known for the accuracy of its predictions (it forecast that July would be cold and rainy here). According to the maps of the NOAA, Catalunya will experience more rain than normal for the time of year during August, while Valencia, Aragon and Madrid will be even worse affected by inclement weather. Temperatures will be lower than the average for the month in most of the country, although NOAA says that Andalucia will enjoy a more typical August than much of the rest of the Spain. These forecasts differ notably from the predictions made by the Spanish meteorological service at the start of the summer. The Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia predicted a fairly normal summer with "temperatures above normal values in all of Spain, and particularly in the east and south of the peninsula, the Balearics and Canaries."