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A special meeting of Barcelona city council's economic committee has been scheduled for this Tuesday morning with a single item on the agenda: the vote on the 2024 budget for the Catalan capital. And it is set to conclude with an initial approval, guaranteed by the backing of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and Barcelona en Comú (Comuns), which, along with the votes of the Catalan Socialists (PSC) will give it majority support. This Monday morning, Janet Sanz of the Comuns announced her group's intention to support mayor Jaume Collboni's Barcelona budget as a precursor to a possible progressive government agreement for the city, and this afternoon the Republicans followed suit, stating that they had reached an agreement with the Socialists to also vote for the budget. Although in ERC's case, they don't link the deal to a future entry into Collboni's city government. 


"We will vote in favour of an agreement with content that we believe is significant for the city", affirmed the spokesperson of the ERC municipal group at the Barcelona city council, Jordi Castellana, who appeared in the company of councillors Eva Baró and Jordi Coronas, making the announcement that the agreement reached with the PSC was possible because they had reached an understanding along three lines to promote an "innovative city with a vision of the future; a city that serves as the country's capital, and a city that defends living well and that takes care of its people and neighbourhoods." However, Castellana made it clear that this budget agreement was not linked to a possible pact to enter the city government.

The three lines of action are, in turn, broken down into several specific actions, and in many cases involve the implementation of initiatives presented by ERC themselves, such as the creation of a 5 million euro fund to support entrepreneurship; the promotion of a new plan for Barcelona's mountain-side neighbourhoods; the creation of a Catalan language office; the development of the T-Cultura, a cultural discount card for young people; the maintenance of the space where Salvador Puig i Antich was executed; an increase in investment in housing to build a thousand public flats this year, and a fund of 15 million euros to make the city more walkable, among other elements.

ERC leader on the Barcelona city council Elisenda Alamany explained the elements included in the party's budget deal with mayor Collboni in an upbeat social media video.

ERC's position therefore guarantees the initial passing of the budget, after this morning's announcement from Barcelona en Comú that they would facilitate the progress of the budget proposal. The Comuns, in any case, could play an abstention card if this were enough to achieve the necessary simple majority, but ERC has gone one step further, and has guarantee its votes in favour, with Castellana himself and the deputy mayor for economy, Jordi Valls, having signed a written deal that commits the two parties. "We have managed to move the PSC from conservative positions", said Castellana.

Collboni celebrates the ERC accord

Barcelona mayor Jaume Collboni celebrated the agreement with the Republicans, and asked the other parties to show "the same responsibility" in passing the public accounts. In two posts on the X social network, the mayor of Barcelona affirmed that the budget agreed with ERC is "focused on improving the lives of the citizens of Barcelona". He added that this is an agreement "to always put people first". The mayor asked all the party groups on council to support the budget in order to put "all the municipal financial power at the service of the city".