The strike announced by air traffic controllers leaves about 7 million passengers affected (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The airlines have scheduled 55,600 flights from August 22nd until 31st with the worst day being August 28th when some 5,800 flights are scheduled, affecting around 916,000 passengers. Féliz Arévalo, from the Bureau of Tourism said that it is impossible to quantify the losses already suffered. The strike is scheduled to take place between August 22nd and August 31st if the union's executive committee, USCA decides to finally confirm it, which they will after a meeting this Thursday. According to the scheduling of airline flights from AENA, dated July 31st, there are 55,607 flights scheduled from the 48 Spanish airports between those dates. The total number of seats numbers at around 8.5 million but as not all seats will be full, it is estimated that around 7 million will potentially be affected. It is not likely that the controllers will strike for all of those days and furthermore, the vast majority of flights will be guaranteed, but this has not stopped the airlines voicing their concerns about their potential passengers who would have liked to fly on those days will postpone their travel plans. Iberia say that ticket reservations have slowed since the controllers announced their intended action, whilst Air Europe has seen cancellations and a drop in ticket sales. The Spanish Federation of Associations of Travel Agents (Feaav) yesterday expressed their total rejection of the strike and warned that it will have "grave consequences for the industry."
The Ayuntamiento of El Vendrell has agreed to give designated zones to 'street vendors' in order to pacify a coexistence (read article in Castlian here, El Pais). The city council has agreed to designate some areas for vendors to sell their wares in order to increase harmony between the police, the city council and the vendors after increased tensions in the town last year. Benet Jané, the mayor of the town said "We could not allow more tension." The agreement has been criticised by the opposition party and traders but is being seen by some as a move to regulate the manteros. The shift in treatment of the street vendors has drawn criticism from the opposition, with the PSC party saying "It's a sign of inconsistency." They had demanded that the council provide more police to eradicate the vendors, "Without these resources, we have decided to negotiate with the sellers," Jané said in response. The merchants of the town have claimed that this is just legalising illegal competition "It can not be legal. They have no papers and are selling counterfeit clothes," says the owner of a clothing store, who asked to remain anonymous. Jané reasons that the regulating of street vending by monitoring the legality of goods is down to the government, ie. the mossos whilst the Ley de Extranjería, is under the remit of the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía.
Also in the news: A Belgian couple have named their son Barça after the football team (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Wesley Beeckman, the father of the child said "My family did not know what to say and at first did not like it but now have become accustomed," he confessed.