Maragall saves the government of Colau and Collboni from its last reprobation

Ernest Maragall preferred yesterday to show his support for Ada Colau and Jaume Collboni instead of lending a hand to Xavier Trias.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2023 Friday 21:49
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Maragall saves the government of Colau and Collboni from its last reprobation

Ernest Maragall preferred yesterday to show his support for Ada Colau and Jaume Collboni instead of lending a hand to Xavier Trias. The last municipal plenary session with political content before the closest electoral campaign of the Barcelona democracy seemed very tense, a kind of all against all where all the groups sold their support very dearly and gave blows left and right. But politics is crowded with convoluted communicating vessels...

The abstention of the republicans allowed the common and socialist government to avoid the umpteenth disapproval of this mandate, on this occasion proposed by those of Junts. Disapprovals are usually symbolic, but they feed the headlines, unleash a ton of tweets, heat up the atmosphere... And, at this time, with an increasingly polarized citizenry, details count more than ever. ERC was a pillar of the municipal government in the most transcendental moments of this mandate, and on top of that the Laura Borràs case is further souring its relations with its former partners at the head of the Government of the Generalitat.

From the ERC benches, Jordi Castellana criticized Junts for the tone of his proposal, a tone that he described as electoralist, and maintained that the final disapproval of Mayor Colau and her government will be Maragall's victory in the May 28 elections . “We abstain because we do not want to do either tactism or short-flight electoral campaigns. Citizens want to look forward, and not backwards”, continued Castellana, referring to the days of Trias as head of the City Council.

Only BComú and PSC voted against. But this does not mean that the rest of the groups were out of hand. In the lower part of the classification, slaps also fly, actually with even greater virulence. Here survival is at stake. Valents, Ciudadanos and the PP are always trying to wear down the socio-common executive, but they do it practically out of inertia, by a kind of law of nature. But the survival of these formations after the next elections depends much more on their ability to wrest votes from each other.

So one of the roughest points of yesterday's plenary session was the exchange of blows between Valents and Ciudadanos to the saint of who was most responsible for Colau having been proclaimed mayor after losing the last elections. Neither Valents nor Ciudadanos want to boast of that support from Manel Valls. Colau had to call the Valents councilor, Óscar Benítez, to order after a curse word escaped him in the heat of the debate. Benítez immediately apologized. His outburst was the result of the tension of the moment.

The uuuuy of this momentous day, however, was carried out by the socialists. The PSC, in its last-minute race to mark its own profile and differences with BComú, attacked one of the measures of the municipal government of this mandate that make the common people most proud, the obligation of new promotions to reserve 30% for public housing . But the ball went wide.

In this case, most of the rest of the formations preferred to attack the Socialists, denounce that they have waited for the last plenary session of the mandate to put this issue on the table, accuse them of moving based on electoral interests. In a somewhat surprising way, Valents, Ciudadanos and PP, staunch enemies of this measure, voted against the socialist initiative.

“Look,” said Paco Sierra, from Ciudadanos, “we discussed this issue in the previous plenary session. And then the PSC went into hiding. You have a concrete face, as much as a New Jersey! In reality, the New Jerseys are made of concrete, but... In its attempt to erode the commons, the PSC only found the support of Junts.

Yes, this plenary session took on an unpredictable, somewhat anarchic air. In the end, the most tense confrontation, the most bitter debate, the scuffle that unleashed the most sparks, was carried out by two councilors called rather to understand each other, the republican Maragall and the deputy mayor Jordi Martí. The one from ERC reproached the common and socialist executive for staging a barbarity of acts apparently of an institutional and municipal nature in recent weeks but that in truth are tremendously electoral and partisan, and on top of that they are paid for with public money. Maragall showed a few volumes recently published by the City Council that he described as propaganda and lamented the abundance of supposedly neighborhood parties and celebrations financed by the City Council.

"BComú and PSC have decided to stop governing to dedicate themselves to the electoral campaign - Maragall added -, but they are doing it with public resources, financed with all these books, pamphlets and parties with everyone's money, and on top of that it does not cause them any shame . Electoral campaigns cannot be presented as government commitments. This is all show and self-promotion. They are doing the same as Trias when he was mayor.

The deputy mayor Martí responded that the public administrations have the obligation to explain their actions to the citizens, and with somewhat burlesque and humorous gestures, and pronouncing a lot of yes, he reproached Maragall who, in the last plenary session of the current term, a proposal with so little content... "with the experience and knowledge that you have", added Martí. The Republican's conviction, however, went ahead thanks to the support – rather curious – of Junts, Ciudadanos, PP and Valents.