Will Barcelona be able to survive its image as a lawless city, a perception currently spreading like a virus beyond our borders? Where are those people who, so enthusiastically, certified the continuity of Ada Colau at the head of the Barcelona city council, without respecting the election-night mayoral victory of Ernest Maragall, now that Barcelona is starring on the crime pages more than in the business press? The news stories from the Catalan capital over the last few days form a very worrying police report. In 48 hours, two rapes: an underage girl at the Port Olímpic, and a young Belgian tourist on a Barcelona beach. An elderly man suffered a heart attack when a stranger tried to steal his watch; a minor stabbed a security guard who was trying to prevent a robbery in the heart of the city and it has emerged that 12-to-14-year-olds have been sleeping rough on the edges of the city centre.
In the last four days, the Qatar royal family has found its safe in a luxury hotel had been forced; an Instagram influencer, Izhan-go, has been violently beaten in the city's Barri Gótic, and a senior official from the South Korean government, Hyewol Kim, died after being violently attacked in Diagonal Mar district and suffering a cranial traumatism. All this has happened in the last few days. It is obvious that the six weeks since the municipal elections were never going to be enough time to solve a problem that has done nothing but worsen in recent times. But something could have been done and it hasn't been. The problem has not been around for that long, since the perception of a lack of law and order began to grow in 2015, coinciding with the arrival of the Colau council team, and with four years of a weak city government, unable to form alliances and under which, in practice, the city's Guardia Urbana police have become invisible. Does the GU still exist?
Politics consists of priorities and the law and order flag cannot be handed to the right. The most disadvantaged sectors of the city are the ones who suffer first from lawlessness, along with those who need a Barcelona with stability and a good image because they move in the tourism sector or in business. Today these people are alarmed by the paralysis in the municipal management of the problem. No statements, no initiatives, no decisions. No political action. When the Catalan Socialists (PSC) are incorporated into the municipal government maybe things will change. We'll see. But for now, it seems that the campaign to tackle what is currently Barcelona's principal problem has gone to sleep on the sofa. Rather than confronting the roots of the problem, the policy seems to be the dispersal of responsibilities. A tactic that is as old as it is lacking in credibility. When finally addressed, it may be too late.