The Spanish retail price index (indice de precios de consumo or IPC) remained unchanged in May compared to April, while the annual rate fell to 3.5 percent thanks in part to a reduction in petrol prices (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Other factors that contributed to the reduction in the inflation rate were lower-priced lubricants and package holidays, according to the monthly report from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE). The annual rate thus fell by three decimal points compared to April and is the first reduction in inflation following eight months of rises. The underlying rate of inflation, which doesn't take account of changes in energy costs or unprocessed food, stood at 2.1 percent last month, the same rate as in April.
The Bank of Spain (BOS) is planning to nationalise at least four Spanish savings banks (cajas in Castilian and caixes in Catalan) that are unable to find private funds for recapitalisation, including two from Catalunya (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The Fund for Ordered Bank Restructuring (FROB) is preparing the process for the summer rather than the end of September even though the entities concerned legally have until the 30th of that month to find the money, according to sources from the BOS's administration. The timetable for the plan is likely to see Caja Mediterraneo (CAM) become the first to be nationalised, albeit partially and temporarily, at some point in July, possibly at the start of the month. The two Catalan savings banks affected, Catalunya Caixa and Unnim, are probably going to be nationalised in August, with the last bank, Nova Caixa Galicia, receiving intervention in September.
At six o'clock this afternoon, the remaining 15-M protestors in Plaça Catalunya are planning to move to in front of the Catalan parliament building in Ciutadella park to be there tomorrow for when politicians start to debate the proposed Generalitat budget for this year (read article in Catalan here, Avui). With the slogan 'Aturem el Parlament' ('We'll Stop the Parliament'), the group wants to continue the momentum of the protests with a call to legitimate civil disobedience as a way of opposing the "approval of unjust laws", in this case the budget cuts proposed by Generalitat president Artur Mas. The movement has said that the action will be "absolutely pacific, with no violence." However, despite this pledge of pacifism, the Generalitat's interior ministry is anxious about what could happen and has put in place a special plan to ensure that members of parliament can access the building for tomorrow's debate without problems, as well as prevent the protestors from setting up a new camp in the Ciutadella park following the almost-total dismantling of the Plaça Catalunya camp. The interior ministry didn't want to reveals details of its plans yesterday, following the controversy caused by the police action on May 27th, when officers tried to clear Plaça Catalunya in advance of FC Barcelona's Champions League final match at Wembley, which resulted in protestors being charged at.