The January sales start today and after a year of economic crisis they are predicted to be the most aggressive in recent history (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The secretary general of the Confederación Española de Comercio (CEC), Miguel Ángel Fraile has said that there will be "scandalous cuts, with prices 50 per cent in almost all items from the first week." The estimated expenditure for each household is €400 or €100 per person. The winter sale season accounts for approximately 20 percent of the total volume of the year for the textile sector, compared with 15 percent that the summer sales accounts for, this is due to more valuable items being reduced. However the La Federación de Usuarios-Consumidores Independientes (FUCI) is less optimistic about the expected turnover and estimates that the average spend will decrease by 10 percent to €95 making it the third consecutive decline in spending during this sale period.
Neighbours in Castelldefels were celebrating winning the first prize in the 'El Nino' lottery draw yesterday (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). With the number 58,588 the win makes it the second consecutive year that the first prize has been won in the Barcelona area with Terrassa picking up the money last year. Paca, 58 who owns a bakery in the town said "When I saw the draw on TV, I said to my husband, 'What an ugly number, who would have bought it?' And I had." Sales for the traditional lottery were hit for the second year due to the current economic crisis with nationwide sales down by 6.7 percent compared to 2009. The average expenditure per capita in the lottery is €15.76 with the Asturians spending the most (€23.33); Catalunya is said to have spent a total of €97.7 million, a 5.7 percent decrease on last year's spend.
Five years after the mass eviction of the Gorg area in Badalona the area remains empty (article in Castilian, El Periodico).The expropriation of 134,000 square metres of land was intended to extend the port of Badalona and build a maritime canal and a significant amount of new housing but it now just serves to split the area in two. Neighbours say they have had enough, claiming that the wasteland area now attracts bands of thieves that take advantage of the empty, poorly-lit area to target cars and shops. Gemma Aragon, a bar owner who was a victim of robbery last month, said that "I now open my place later and close earlier. I have few customers and hardly see the people on the street. We work in fear." The ambitious plans for the area, which is situated between the port and the Olympic Pavelló was to include a canal that would enable boats and yachts to reach luxury new homes. Jordi Serra has announced the council's intention to reconsider the planned developments, but told residents not to expect a solution in the near future.
Also in the news: Almost all of Spain is under a yellow or orange weather warning for snow (El Mundo); A public petition has been launched to increase the speed limit to 140 km/h (La Vanguardia)