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Yesterday evening, former French prime minister Manuel Valls announce his intention to stand for mayor of Barcelona, an event which left more than a hundred people stuck outside for lack of space. This morning, he was back before the press to answer all questions, starting with the local media, and to again apologise for problems with seating capacity.

Valls announced that his platform for the election will be called Barcelona, capital europea (Barcelona, European capital). As for who else will be on the list, he didn't want to reveal any names because "there's time" before next year's vote, but that it will include "people of varied inclinations, from all horizons". He said he will hold a large event in November to present "the platform, the focus of the manifesto and the team which will accompany me".

Manuel Valls - SergiAlcazar

Valls during this morning's press conference / Photo: Sergi Alcàzar

The former prime minister repeated this morning that he's an "independent" candidate with a project "for Barcelona" which should "interest all residents". He also talked about the deterioration of the city, the companies leaving and its dropping position on European rankings.

Valls dodged the question of Ciudadanos' support (he was originally mooted as the party's candidate) and possible agreements with PP and PSC. Although he seems to have their support, he said he is primarily a candidate for all residents of Barcelona. He also suggested that his candidacy has changed the outlook. "Who knows if it's caused an earthquake," he commented.

To Colau: "It's not easy to manage a city when you're not ready for it"

Valls presented himself as a "moderate" candidate who doesn't want enemies or to "stoop to the level of insults". He said he doesn't understand why the current mayor, Ada Colau, isn't happy for a Barcelonian who has been prime minister of France and wants to stand for mayor.

He did say, however, that he respects Colau because managing a city isn't easy. In a serious tone, he said that it's not easy to captain a city shaken by attacks, and, in a less serious tone, he added that nor is it easy to manage a city when "you're not ready to do so". "Nor is it easy to manage a city when you promised you'd solve everything and you've not done so," he said.

No master's

Valls also referred to the controversy in Spain over politicians' qualifications. He did so in response to journalists asking if he'd "reviewed" his CV. He said he has no master's degree and that "when you don't have one it's better to not present one". "My master's is from life and with my baccalauréat I've become prime minister of France," he said. The baccalauréat is the qualification French teenagers can take at age 18, although other sources say he studied a degree in history.

As a curiosity, he announced he which street he will live on in Barcelona: Paris street. We don't know which number.