The opposition have refused the CiU party the six votes needed for an absolute majority and thrown doubt over whether Artur Mas will be elected president (read article in Castilian here, El País). The leader of CiU, Artur Mas, will, in all likelihood, not be elected as president of the Generalitat in the first round of polls. If sources from the other parties are confirmed it seems that only the CiU party will be voting for Mas. This Thursday will now be a vital second round of voting. As it stands, Mas needs six seats for an absolutely majority but it now looks like both the PSC and PP parties will opt to vote against him. The president of the Catalan PP, Alicia Sánchez Camacho, yesterday had raised the possibility that their party would facilitate the CiU but then rejected them after hearing Mas's speech, which advocated a "national transistion" leading Sánchez Camacho to say, "we can not support a president who prioritises a transition to a nationalist Catalunya over a plural state". The PSC have also rejected the nationalist and economic approach of the CiU. The ICV, the fourth party to participate in the meeting yesterday also did not welcome the proposal of a fiscal pact.
The ayuntamiento of Salt is the first in Catalunya to approve a motion that denies residency to anti-social immigrants (read article in Castilian here, El País). L'Hospitalet is thought to follow suit today with both councils requesting the central government refuse to give residency permits to families or individual immigrants who violate the bylaws of civility. Other municipalities, such as Badalona, El Vendrell, Tortosa, all with high immigration rates, could follow the same steps. The Catalan PP party has also announced that it will lead similar motions. These motions are due to the fact that the government is drafting a new regulation in the Ley de Extranjería that regulates the criteria and procedures that govern residency applications. In Salt, the motion was proposed by the PSC and ERC parties, both in government and expresses the need for local councils be heard by the central government when deciding which immigrants are entitled to stay. Socialist Iolanda Pineda, the mayor of Salt rejected accusations of xenophobia and racism launched by social organisations against the ruling saying, "our intention is just the opposite: to eliminate the few uncivil attitudes that may lead to the criminalisation of an entire group based on their place of origin." To obtain residency, immigrants must prove that they have been in Spain for more than three years, working under contract and are socially integrated in their city. For family reunification, the immigrants home is inspected by the ayuntamiento to verify that you can accommodate their families.
For the third year running El Gordo lottery sales are down, 10 percent less than in 2007 (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). According to vendors, purchases of the Christmas lottery will fall by three percent from 2009, when ticket sales had already experienced a decline of three percent. The government have gone further and predicted that sales will drop by 15 percent. Juan Gallardo, commercial director of the Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (LAE) said, "we'll know for sure at 11pm today but our impression is that sales will be similar, maybe only one to three percent less." Josefina López and Óscar García, two vendors from Vallecas and San Blas in Madrid said, "many businesses have closed and are no longer buying lottery tickets." The chances of you winning the Gordo is remote, only 5 percent of numbers are winners, 10 percent return on investments and 85 percent do not earn a single euro, this according to Manuel de León, director of the Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas del CSIC. Raúl Ibañez, professor of Maths at the Universidad del País Vasco said, the probability that the asteroid Apofis hits earth is twice as likely as you winning.