A report today states that the Spanish construction industry is in debt with the banks here to the tune of €470,000 million (article in Castilian), and financial experts are claiming that these credits should be categorised as 'toxic debt'. In recent years, the banks were increasingly generous with credits to the booming construction industry, with the amount loaned out growing by €11,000 million in 1992 to €470,000 million in 2008. Now, in the face of the global crisis, a rising number of these building companies are facing problems in paying back their debts - one estimate forecasts that this year, 6 percent of these debts will be in arrears. Financial analysts also predict a gloomy future for the banks, saying that they should have taken action earlier and that while the larger institutions should be able to ride out the problem, smaller organisations will suffer, as has already happened with the Caja Castilla La Mancha.
The former Interior Minister of the Generalitat, Montserrat Turó, yesterday implied that the incumbent minister, Joan Saura, was wrong to put the spotlight on media coverage of the recent confrontations between the Catalan police and students protesting about the Plan de Bolonia. She said that ministers had to take responsibility for transparency and explaining their actions to citizens, and not "shot the messenger". Her comments came after Saura had requested a report from the Consell d'Audiovisual de Catalunya (CAC) regarding the way that local media had covered the clashes that took place in March, following the Mossos' eviction of students involved in a four-month sit-in at Barcelona University. However, CAC has reported not yet decided whether it will produce the report (article in Catalan), because, according to sources at the organisation, it does not generally make such documents for ministries.
According to figures released by the Generalitat, the age group that has the tendency to take most sick days off work is that of 16 to 24 year olds (article in Castilian). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the day of the week that absenteeism is most prevalent is Monday and 57 out of 100 workers in that group took a sick day in 2008, double the number of the over-55 group. It is significantly higher too than the Catalan average of 33.8 percent. The Generalitat's Employment Minister, Mar Serna, suggested that the problem was not a medical issue, but rather work-related and cultural.