The very recent times, when acrimony prevailed in the relationship between Barcelona City Council and the economic fabric, seem to have gone down in history. Jaume Collboni showed this afternoon in a conference given at the Cercle d' Economia his determination to give a boost to public-private collaboration that helps the city take a leap. “Generate trust, reducing tension, trying to find agreements and solve citizens' problems,” he detailed. In this sense, the socialist mayor has called for a “new commitment” that makes this possible.
Collboni's invitation is part of the dialogue that he wants to characterize his government and that he intends to practice with all economic and social agents. “We offer solutions without reproach without making confrontation a way of doing politics,” she highlighted, trying, without saying so, to mark distance from the period of her predecessor, Ada Colau. Thus, she has announced that on November 22 she will meet with the UGT and CC.OO unions. and the employers' associations Foment del Treball and Pimec.
A few days before he turns 100 at the head of the City Council, Collboni reviewed in his conference, attended by, among others, company executives and two former mayors, Narcís Serra and Xavier Trias, some of the actions he has promoted in these three months. He has started with the “endreça” of public space and security. “It is not the sexiest policy to begin a mandate,” he acknowledged, “but it is basic.”
The other key issue, the city's main problem in his opinion, is housing, which has "prices that drive out many citizens." In this area, he has highlighted the offer of 27 plots of land to the Generalitat so that it can build more than 1,600 affordable rental homes. He has also recalled his intention to make the 30% reserve more flexible to achieve greater involvement of the private sector.
Recovering the pride of the city, the self-esteem of the people of Barcelona, is another fundamental objective for Collboni, which largely involves, in his opinion, hosting major events. He has cited as examples the America's Cup, the World Capital of Architecture or the recruitment of new halls for Fira de Barcelona.
With the inauguration of the new President of the Government pending, Collboni has warned that “Barcelona will be subject to any political situation.” The vision of his government, he added, “is medium and long term, for 2030 and 2050.” In this sense, he added, "I want us to once again have projects, horizons and for them to be shared by all citizens."
Collboni's economic guide, the Barcelona Green Deal, was already launched during his time as deputy mayor. “We will maintain everything that worked in the previous mandate,” he announced. And he has detailed the key areas of action: digital, industry 4.0, health and biotechnology, creative, proximity economy, visitor economy, green, blue and circular. This policy, he recalled, “already has results.” Two examples: the low unemployment rate, 5.7%, which makes it “the large Spanish city with the least unemployment.” In this chapter he recalled that Madrid is at 7.9%.
“We have to go all out and not miss any opportunity” to grow Barcelona's economy in strategic sectors, the mayor stressed. A priority is to “turn it into one of the European chip capitals” and, thus, “contribute to maintaining the technological sovereignty” of the continent. The proposal is to host the “clean room” (physical space where research and production is carried out) for these components.
Collboni advocates attracting public, private and public-private investments and has announced that the City Council will continue to promote it with mechanisms such as the Accelera and Deep Tech funds, which will go from 20 million euros to 60.
The debate on the expansion of the airport "is poorly planned," according to Collboni, because it must start from "what economic model we want" and not begin "with the instrument." If the aim is to be "an international city, with a diversified economy, that captures talent", the mayor defends "that it be interconnected with the centers of production and knowledge, which are in Boston, Shanghai, Toronto or Bangalore."