The Constitutional Court temporarily allows the Catalan tax on bank deposits but still halts the drug prescription fee
The Spanish Constitutional Court has lifted the temporary suspension of the Catalan Government’s tax on total bank deposits while it is waiting to issue a sentence on the measure. The Spanish Government took Catalonia’s tax on bank deposits, the drug prescription fee and the new judicial taxes to the Court. The Constitutional Court accepted Madrid’s appeal in January and temporarily suspended the implementation of the three measures for five months. After the period is over, the Court believes that, taking into account the need to reduce public deficit, the Catalan Government can now implement the tax on banks, while the magistrates agree on a definitive sentence. However, the Court has extended the suspension on the judicial and drug prescription fees.
FC Barcelona has reached an agreement with the Brazilian player to extend the contract linking the two parties for four additional seasons. The player's buyout clause is set at 90 million euros. Adriano has become known as one of the most versatile players on FC Barcelona’s roster. He’s performed well in the centre back position, as well as the right and left full back positions and as an attacking midfielder.
Catalonia contributed with 8.5% of its GDP to infrastructures and services in the rest of Spain in 2010
On Tuesday, the Catalan Government posted the so-called fiscal balances for 2010, showing the difference between the money paid by Catalans in taxes and fees to the Spanish Government and what comes back in form of funds, services and infrastructure. Using the monetary flow formula, Catalonia had a fiscal deficit of €16.54 billion, representing 8.5% of its GDP. Using the benefit formula, the fiscal deficit represents 5.8% of the Catalan GDP (€11.26 billion). The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, stated that both formulas “are complementary” but he found the monetary flow one to be closer to the reality. The figures are similar to the results from previous years as well as to the study published in 2008 by the Spanish Finance Ministry with data from 2005. In the last 25 years, Catalonia has given away 8.1% of its GDP each year.
Car dealers are satisfied with this year’s Motor Show as several brands posted solid sales balances. However, some visitors were disappointed as major car manufacturers were absent, attendants were not very enthusiastic about the worldwide premiers and there was a lack of glamour. Driving simulators and luxury-car payment tours were the main alternative for those who wanted something other than the regular exhibition. The organisers are optimistic and aim to restore the splendour of past shows as the economic situation improves and Barcelona becomes a more important city for motor events.
Barcelona among the world’s top 15 cities regarding foreign investment, global competitiveness and scientific production
In addition, in 2012, the Catalan capital was the world’s 5th best ranked city in the area of life quality and urban prosperity, after Tokyo, Stockholm, Paris and Oslo. Barcelona was also among the international centres regarding tourist figures, being the 4th European city which receives the highest number of foreign tourists. It is also the second best city in Europe for shopping and it is among the best in Europe for doing business, after gaining competitiveness by reducing life costs. Barcelona is the 13th world city in global competitiveness, the 12th in the number of foreign investment projects and the 10th in scientific production. Furthermore, it is the only European city with 2 business schools ranked among the continent’s top ten (IESE and ESADE).
In addition, 24 marinas in Catalonia have also been awarded a blue flag this year. In 2012, 87 beaches and 24 marinas were awarded. The blue flags recognise the cleanness, safety, environmental management and services provided at the beach. Spain has obtained a total of 648 blue flags: 551 recognising beaches and 97 for marinas. It means 11 more flags for beaches and 1 less for marinas than last year. Catalonia is the 3rd Autonomous Community with the highest number of blue flags in Spain recognising the quality of the beaches. The Costa Brava has 28 blue flags, the Costa Daurada and the Ebro Delta have 38 and the beaches near Barcelona or even in the city have 24 flags.
In a situation of difficult access to credit by Catalan and Spanish companies, Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce and the main Spanish bank – which is based in the Catalan capital – have agreed to open a new credit line for the 25,000 private companies (small, medium-sized and large) and independent workers affiliated to the Chamber’s ‘Club Cambra’. In January 2012 they created the first credit fund with €2 billion. Now, a total of €3 billion will be available, of which €1 billion will be for internationalisation projects. CaixaBank’s President, Isidre Fainé, and the President of the Chamber, Miquel Valls, signed the new agreement on Wednesday.
The independent music event held in Barcelona occupies 20,000 square metres, has a budget increase of 7% (reaching 7.5 million euros) and an estimated public of 150,000 only on its main stage, the Parc del Fòrum. Nick Cave, Animal Collective, Blur or My Bloody Valentine are just some of the leading indie figures to play in the Catalan capital between the 22nd and the 26th of May.
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22.05.2013 - 08.33 pm
The rain that fell on the Catalan capital did not tarnish the first X-Games held in Barcelona, although it did cause a headache for the organisers, who had to juggle with competition schedules and even cancel the RallyCross and Moto X Freestyle competitions. 114,600 people attended the event in total, crowding out the venues in which the different competitions were held.
21.05.2013 - 06.26 pm
For the first time in its history, FC Barcelona will be wearing an away kit based on the red and yellow Catalan flag – the ‘senyera’. FC Barcelona and Nike presented Barça’s new first team’s kit on Tuesday morning, which include the traditional blue and claret stripes in a modern design which sees the stripes peter off on the sleeves. Furthermore shorts will be blue for the main outfit and red for the away kit.
20.05.2013 - 12.57 pm
A goal from Pedro and an own goal by Marc Valiente gave Barça the win that takes them to 94 points. Nothing can stop Barça in the Spanish League this season. Tito Vilanova’s men chalked up another win at the Camp Nou on Sunday night, seeing off Valladolid in what proved to be quite a tricky game.
17.05.2013 - 09.53 pm
Madrid to oblige the Catalan Government to pay for a privately-owned school if a pupil wants to study in Spanish
The Spanish Government has approved its Education Reform, which aims to make Spanish a teaching language in Catalonia and reduces the Autonomous Communities’ power to manage their education system. The new law states the Spanish Government is to decide on the curricula of the main subjects, such as History. In addition, tests will be set at the end of the schoolstages and their contents will be exclusively decided from Madrid. Since the tests will be the same for the whole of Spain, items regarding Catalan culture, geography or history will not enter into the final examinations. The Catalan Education Minister, Irene Rigau, considered the law to be “pre-democratic” and “re-centralist”. She also stated that “it is impossible to honour it in Catalonia”, since privately-owned schools teach in Catalan and the law goes against the Catalan Statute of Autonomy (Catalonia’s main law).