The governor of the Bank of Spain has said that the effects of the crisis will see the Spanish social security fund go into deficit by the end of this year (article in Castilian). Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordóñez, talking in Toledo yesterday said that the current surplus in the social security resources will have been reversed at some point during this year. The official government forecast is that there will be a surplus of 0.2 percent of Spain's gross domestic product (PIB). Ordóñez said that the short-term situation shouldn't be a cause for alarm, however, taking into account low birth rates and a longer life expectancy, a review is necessary of the pension scheme as well as financial incentives to encourage employment. He said that Spain needed to analyse the experience of other countries that have pushed back the official retirement age and make early retirement harder.
A webcam positioned within the nest of a family of hawks living in the Sagrada Familia has been attracting a lot of visitors recently, thanks to the images being broadcast of four newly-born chicks (article in Castilian). The two parent hawks have set up home in the tower of Sant Bartomeu and on Holy Thursday saw their family enlarge significantly with the birth of the four chicks. They are already feeding and walking and in less than a week have tripled in size, according to naturalist Eduard Durany, who is in charge of the city council's programme of observation of the birds. Within a month the birds will begin to fly, which will doubtless create even more interest amongst on-line bird-watchers.
The Bon Pastor mercat is due to become the first in Barcelona to have flats built on top of it (article in Catalan), as part of a programme being undertaken by the council involving 18 municipal markets. Taking advantage of other rebuilding work that has to be done, the Bon Pastor market building is going to include 100 council flats (pisos protegits). The construction work has been brought forward by several months as part of Zapatero's anti-crisis plan; the same will happen with renovations to be done at the markets of Sants, el Ninot and Vall d'Hebron. In total, some €13.5 million will be spent on improving and expanding the city's markets in the coming year or so.