Some bus drivers in Barcelona will strike for six hours today (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The strike, the 21st such stoppage in the past 18 months, will take place between 10.30am and 4.30pm, thus avoiding peak times for public transport, but an estimated 250,000 people who regularly use the bus at this time will be affected. Areas that don’t have any alternative form of public transport will see a quarter of their normal bus service maintained—these buses are: 9, 11, 21, 24, 63, 65, 92, 95, 109, 157 y 193. The action has been taken by the drivers because of discontent with a proposed new employment agreement (convenio), and it is likely that when the striking drivers gather at midday today, a calendar will be set for further strikes and protests in the coming months.
Joan Puigcercós, the president of left-wing independentist political party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya has told the former president of the party and current vicepresident of the Generalitat, Josep-Llluis Carod-Rovira, that the latter won’t be standing in the next Catalan parliamentary elections (article in Catalan, Avui). The animosity between the two men has become renowned in political circles in recent times, with ERC effectively split between supporters of Puigcercós and those who prefer Carod-Rovira. However, it now seems that Puigcercós has got the upper hand, with the delivery of the news at a dinner last week that the party doesn’t want Carod-Rovira to be on the list of ERC candidates for next year’s Generalitat elections. Although Carod-Rovira agreed earlier in the year to take a lesser role in the party, he understood that the door was still open for him to continue on the front-line of ERC. But it appears that matters have now been taken out of his hands and that the leaders of the party view him as redundant and a relic from the past at a time when ERC has to move in a new direction.
A judge has put an embargo on various bank accounts of the company Audiovisual Sport (AVS) and of the parent company of Catalunya TV (TVC) as a result of a dispute over money owed to FC Barcelona (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). A sentence passed in July required AVS to pay almost €30 million to FC Barcelona for image rights of the club that it had used; TVC acted as a guarantor to the debt and as such its parent company CCMA has also been affected by the embargo, which covers the €29.1 million due plus additional interest. It may be that CCMA will have to cover the whole debt because the original contract over image rights was signed between FC Barcelona and TVC; it wasn’t until later that TVC ceded part of the contracted rights to AVS. The dispute between Barça and TVC has been going on for the past two seasons, after the club gave the Catalan television company access to its stadium, contravening the criteria of AVS that was working on pay-per-view rights; as such AVS stopped paying the club, and this is when TVS stepped in as guarantor to AVS's debt.
Also in the news: Bank of Spain against tax rises (Avui); Spanish authorities continue efforts to get kidnapped fishing-boat freed (La Vanguardia); Partido Popular rocked by further accusations of financial misdoings (El Periodico)