A Catalan man holidaying in Chile died in the tsunami that followed Saturday’s earthquake in the country (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Miguel Marín Navarro, 29 and from the Maresme town of Alella, was on the island of Robinson Crusoe, located 674 kilometres west of the mainland in the South Pacific Island, when the tsunami hit at 4.30 on Saturday morning, about an hour after the 8.8-level earthquake occurred. Marín was part of a group of seven tourists (four Catalans, two Madrileños and one Chilean) who had arrived on the island the previous Wednesday, drawn there by their interest in botany. His family was notified about his death by an e-mail sent by one of the other members of the group on Sunday. The rest of the group is safe, with some members still on the island and the rest now in Valparaíso. The family of Marín Navarro have said that they are still have trouble getting official information either from the Chilean embassy or the Spanish government. Three other Spaniards are currently missing in Chile.
Unemployment grew in Spain during February, with more than 82,000 people losing their jobs, a rise of two percent compared to January (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). This brings the total number of people without work in Spain to 4,130,625, the highest since records began in 1996. Although the figure is significantly less than the 154,058 who were made unemployed in February 2009, it is still the second highest unemployment figure for a February and is the seventh consecutive month that the number of people without work has risen. In Catalunya, the number of unemployed also rose last month to bring the total to just below 600,000 (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Almost 13,500 lost their jobs in the autonomous community and the total now claiming unemployment benefit here is 597,287. This represents a rise of 3.2 percent compared to January. In February 2009, almost 23,000 people lost their jobs in Catalunya, but despite this overall year-on-year fall, the Catalan minister for Employment, Mar Serna, said the numbers were “difficult and worrying.”
Also in the news: Spanish government to give credit to small and medium-sized businesses (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Alleged relationship between Venezuelan government and Basque terrorist group ETA causes tension with Spain (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Salt tries to ease racial tensions with creation of group including council, police and immigrant representatives to discuss issues (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Palau de la Música accused using false disability sticker for parking (read full article in Catalan here, Avui)