The Economist Intelligence Unit has released a report showing that it is now more expensive to live in the Catalan capital (article in Castilian) than in either London or New York. In a list headed by Tokyo, and that sees London drop from eighth to 27th place, Barcelona has moved up one position and is now registered as the 18th most expensive city in the world to live; this is five places above NY, which has itself shot up 13 places. It seems that the currency fluctuations of recent times (which have seen both the euro and dollar strengthen against the pound) are partly to blame, as are rises in the costs of items included in the survey, such as food, alcohol and clothes.
Rumours are flying about a crisis within the current Spanish socialist government, led by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, following his apparently equivocal response to questions about his confidence in his existing cabinet (article in Catalan). In recent times, doubts have been raised about the commitment of the vice-president and Finance Minister, Pedro Solbes as a result of comments he's made about wanting to leave government at a time when he's supposed to be leading the fight against the harsh economic crunch faced by Spain. When the Justice Minister was recently forced to resign, Solbes told journalists he felt jealous of his colleague, because he was now an "ex-minister". However, commentators suggest that there is no obvious successor to Solbes to head the Ministry of Finance.
Barcelona council has promised that by the end of the year, all the bus stops in the city will be accesible to all who want to use the public transport means. Work under way, funded by almost €4 million from the anti-crisis budget, will remove obstacles from the 1800 bus stops (about 85% of the total stops in Barcelona) that currently prevent people in wheelchairs from getting on to the city's buses, all of which are actually adapted with ramps and safety belts.