© FC Barcelona
Information regarding the wealth of Spanish politicians—senators and members of Congress—is being made public for the first time today (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Amongst the details released, it has been revealed that the founding president of the Partido Popular, Manuel Fraga, has assets worth almost €1 million, with money held in various current accounts, investment funds and pension plans. The information was contained in Fraga's declaration, which, along with those of all other members of the Spanish Congress and Senate, is being published on the internet today. The details regarding members of the Congress will be available from midday and while the declarations of the senators were due to be released at 9am, they actually appeared on the web in the early hours of the morning. Members of the Senate were not required to specify how much money they earn for their position, as they are already known to the Senate, and only had to provide details of other earnings.
The trainer of FC Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, will today be awarded the Medalla d'Or from the Catalan parliament (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). This is the highest distinction that the Catalan institution gives out and is being awarded in recognition of Guardiola's career as a footballer and trainer, as well as the values that he represents. The ceremony, which takes place this evening at 7pm in the auditorium, will mark the start of celebrations for this year's Diada (National Day of Catalunya) and will be attended by the president of the Parliament, Núria de Gispert, the Generalitat president Artur Mas and that of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell. The 'boy from Santpedor' (the boy from Santpedor, the village where Guardiola was born) will see his name added to the list of illustrious figures who have already received the Medalla d'Or thanks to a unanimous vote by the 'Mesa' of the Parliament, which voiced praise for the way that Guardiola projects an image of a civil, cultured and open Catalunya and his values of sportsmanship, team work, effort and personal achievement.
Spain is looking for ways to raise more taxes from the country's richest people, as a way to help deal with the effects of the current economic crisis and high levels of public debt that the government has to deal with (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Following calls from the wealthy in the US, France and Germany to their respective governments to impose higher tax rates, the Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is still wavering on what action to take. There have already been talks in the government about the wisdom or not of reviving a wealth tax (impuesto de patrimonio) and now the debate has apparently intensified. Thanks to this tax, autonomous communities made €2 billion up to 2008, the year in which the Spanish government decided to shelve it. This amount is 10 times more than what will be made by either France or Italy with the new taxes on the wealthy that have been announced in these countries. In today's cabinet meeting, it is not expected that ministers will discuss the issue, however, according to sources from the prime minister's office. And it may not be on the table at next week's cabinet meeting either, according to the minister of presidency, Ramón Jáuregui, because the Spanish Socialist Party has still not convinced Zapatero of the need to reintroduce the tax.