La Roca Village shopping centre wants to open on Sundays (read article in Castilian here, El País). However the Confederación Catalana de Comercio (CCC) believe that the town (La Roca) will not benefit from the extended opening claiming only the mall operator, Botiguers, will benefit. The current Catalan law prohibits Sunday opening but excludes what they deem "commercial establishments located in cities considered for the purposes of tourism" meaning shops in towns such as Castell-Platja d'Aro are allowed to stay open. The debate is whether La Roca qualifies as a tourist attraction; the total of foreigners using the centre, number some 40 percent of visitors. Bosses at the centre are using the crisis as part of their argument saying that if they were to open on Sundays then they would create an extra 150 jobs and the economic impact to the area would total around €100 million. Mayer of the town, Rafael Ros (CiU) also argues that the entire municipality could benefit saying that it might attract more visitors to La Roca Village who might spend the night. However the CCC yesterday demanded that Francesc Xavier Mena, head of the department of enterprise and employment, not yield to the request. They have said "the application responds only to the pressure from the operator of the mall and not the traders or the public." The association also fears that if La Roca is granted permission then other shopping centres will follow. Currently Blau L'Ànec in Castelldefels is allowed to open as the municipality is deemed a tourist area whilst Maremàgnum is allowed because it is located on port land which is exempt from the regulations, as are airports. For further reading go to our article on Sunday Opening.
Zapatero looks set to restore social calm by signing a pact with unions and employers to resolve his current isolation over economic reforms (read article in Castilian here, El Periódico). The hard line economic adjustments which were put in place to address the crisis will continue but now it looks like José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will not stand alone. The pact was ratified yesterday by the unions and employers and will be signed today in a ceremony at Moncloa. The agreement ensures the prime minister of social peace in the most crucial stretch of the legislature and will not doubt calm financial markets. The government is convinced that the new stage will allow them to regain the political initiative. Zapatero said of the agreement, "the pact with the unions reconstructs the thread of social discourse. The reforms, although tough are needed to strengthen the welfare state."
20 percent of prescriptions are never redeemed at the pharmacies leading Salut to ask for a curb in what they see as an excess of prescription drugs (read article in Castilian here, El Periódico). The implementation of electronic prescribing that connects physicians with pharmacies revealed to the Department of Health that up to 20 percent of issued prescriptions by doctors in primary care centres (CAP) are never collected by patients. This is true even when the drug is free. Those responisble at the Atenció Farmacèutica de la Generalitat are not attributing this to negligence or excessive prescribing but to mismatches and misunderstandings between patients and doctors. However the minister of health, Boi Ruíz, believes that these inconsistencies are a result of the "prescription culture" that exists in Spain saying "the doctor has to prescribe less, and the patient has to take his medicine as the doctor always knows more then them."