The Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the US president, Barack Obama, talked yesterday by telephone to discuss the current debt crises facing their respective countries (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). According to a statement issued by Zapatero's office, the two leaders discussed the global economic situation, public debt problems and world growth levels. They agreed that there is a need to speed up the application of the measures agreed by EU countries on July 21st and to strengthen the Euro project as a way to develop financial markets. Regarding the growth of the world economy, which is affecting the US, the Euro zone and the economies of emerging countries, the two men repeated the necessity to work in a coordinated way to shore up economic growth and avoid a slow-down. Zapatero and Obama agreed to maintain contact between the economic teams of their respective governments with the double objective of promoting stability and avoiding a global financial deceleration.
Irresponsibility while swimming in El Vendrell on the Costa Daurada could soon have a financial consequence, with the Ajuntament considering the possibility of introducing fines for swimmers who disregard red 'no-swimming' flags (read article in Catalan here, El Punt-Avui). This was one of the issues discussed in an emergency meeting held yesterday by the council following the third drowning in a month at the beach of Coma-ruga, which has led the administration to seek a solution to the situation. "If it is advisable to do so, then we will issue fines. We've spoken about it, but currently, it is only a possibility," said Benet Jané, the mayor of El Vendrell following the meeting. Even though it has not been announced whether fines will be issued, it would be the responsibility of the local police force to administrate such punishments, while the amount to be paid would be set by the council. Beyond the hypothesis of fining irresponsible and careless swimmers, the message that came out of yesterday's meeting (which included representatives from the Catalan police, the Red Cross and local police, as well as councillors) was that the seven kilometres of beaches that stretch from El Vendrell to Sant Salvador, el Francàs and Coma-ruga—where the three accidents took place—enjoy maximum security and that the main objective is to raise public awareness so that they don't act irresponsibly. "This is no black spot. The only thing that is necessary is that people comply with the rules," insisted Benet Jané; he also emphasised that all the recent accidents were the result of carelessness.
FC Barcelona, fielding a team of young players, defeated Girona yesterday evening and will face Espanyol tonight in the final of the Copa Catalunya (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Barça won 2-1 in yesterday's semi-final with goals from Cristiano and Riverola. In turn, Espanyol was victorious over Tarragona's Gimnàstic side with the same result. Pep Guardiola was absent from the match, with his deputy Eusebio Sacristán filling the manager's role for Barça's game, which saw the youngsters play effectively and come back from a 1-0 scoreline following a Girona goal in the 31st minute in what was largely a well-balanced confrontation. After Girona took the lead, the Barça side reacted well, particularly new signing Cristiano Lobato, who set up a flow of attacks on the Girona penalty area, finally being rewarded with Barcelona's first goal. Espanyol, who are the current holders of the Copa Catalunya, were victorious against Nàstic, thanks to two goals from Dani Osvaldo.