The Guardia Urbana has disbanded a sit-in in front of the Catalan parliament by around 30 people who wanted the chamber to move towards a declaration of independence for Catalunya (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The group, whose actions were led by members of the parliamentary group Solidaritat Catalana per la Independencia (SI), had hoped to camp out for 48 hours and, despite warnings from the Guardia Urbana that they were breaking regulations against unsociable behaviour, decided to set up tents by the parliament. Amongst those taking part were SI parliamentary members Uriel Bertran, Alfons López and Toni Strubell—the Guardia Urbana agents did not remove these three, but they did move on all the other protesters, one by one. Before the agents took action, the protesters had decided not to put up any resistance, opting instead for the pacifist option, although shouts of "police, police" could be constantly heard during the eviction. The three MPs led the demonstration throughout and were the first to set up tents, despite the warnings of the Guardia Urbana—the tents were eventually requisitioned by the agents. Once the eviction was complete, which took about half an hour, Uriel Bertransaid he regretted what had happened and that he and the other two SI members planned to stay where they were for the whole night at the parliament in recognition of the efforts of their fellow protesters. "We're staying because we're the only citizens that they have allowed to be here. It's an unacceptable wrong on the part of some Spain-supporting political parties who don't accept democracy."
The Catalan education minister, Irene Rigau, has proposed to trade unions that teachers spend one extra hour in the classroom per week starting next September (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The new timetable would be applied to infant, primary and secondary school teachers. Although, formally, a period of negotiation has to be opened to reach agreement with the unions, Rigau has made it clear that if the unions don't accept the scheme, then she will impose it through the law. The minister also announced that the 'sxith hour' of classes will disappear from all schools except those that are in areas of socio-economic disadvantage. Trade unions have reacted with indignation to this proposal, with the CCOO saying that, according to their calculations, it will led to the loss of 1,500 jobs.
Spain has suffered more than most of the developed countries as a result of the crisis and this has now been highlighted in the IMF's 2010 ranking of countries, where Spain has fallen three places and is no longer listed in the top 10 (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Whereas previously Spain was found at position number nine in the list, it is now at 12, with Canada, India and Russia moving ahead of it. In addition, the IMF predicts that Spain is unlikely to return to its former position in the near future. Rather, it forecasts that Spain will stay in 12th place at least until 2012 and then will battle it out with Australia to stay there until, at the earliest, 2016.