Barcelona deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello announced this Sunday that the grass-roots supporters of BComú (Barcelona in Common) have voted to break the current municipal pact with the PSC (Catalan Socialist Party). From now on, the party led by mayor Ada Colau will once again govern alone in the Barcelona city council. More than 3,000 BComú supporters took part in the decision, with more than 54% voting in favour of the question presented by the party direction: "Given the support of the PSC/PSOE for the application of article 155, does Barcelona En Comú have to end its coalition agreement with the PSC in the city, to continue governing alone?"
The intention of the Commons group from now on, according to Pisarello, is to return to the style of short-term and one-off agreements that they practiced before formalizing the coalition agreement with the socialists. Thus, the intention of Colau's city government is to run Barcelona's town hall on their own.
The first opportunity that Ada Colau's party will have to exercise this new style of governance will be when the budgets for next year are submitted for approval. Deputy mayor Pisarello has said that they already have the draft budget prepared and are convinced that it is a good proposal, but that they will reach any pact in order to get it passed by council. Specifically, Pisarello said that we "will look for all necessary agreements with all political groups to be able to strengthen the lines of policy that we have been building on for the last 2 years."
However, Pisarello also said that in order to be able to reach agreement with other parties, some basic guidelines had to be clear. In the first place, he said, the focus had to be on the city of Barcelona, as well as the promotion of social policy, and of measures favouring small and medium-sized businesses. In second place, he mentioned liberty and amnesty for political prisoners, and therefore, the withdrawl of article 155, applied by the Spanish government to take direct rule away from Catalonia.
In addition, the deputy mayor asserted that articles 155 and 135 of the Spanish constitution are, without doubt, two sides of the same coin and they represent a process of recentralization, which also affects the world of local government.
With respect to the socialists, Pisarello suggested that if the PSC had consulted its own grass-roots supporters, they would have voted against the application of article 155. The proof of this is that many socialist mayors around Catalonia have left mayoral office or have even abandoned the party.
The official break-up with the socialists will be carried out next Monday, after a meeting of the municipal BComú group. The pact with the PSC has lasted a year and a half, and Ada Colau's party assured that it has brought many positive benefits for the city.
Ada Colau made her own comments on the move through her Twitter account. Colau said that it has been a difficult decision to break the municipal pact with the PSC. In addition, she said that her party will continue governing by making specific agreements and using "all the dialogue that the city of Barcelona deserves", seeking agreements with all the municipal groups.
Finally, she gave thanks to the municipal PSC group led by Jaume Collboni for the joint work carried out in the service of Barcelona and urged the PSC to break its pacts at broader level with the PP (People's Party), Cs (Citizens) and the concservative Catalan group Unió, also encouraging the socialists to rebuild their bridges with other parties on the left.
Ha estat una decisió difícil, però l'hem pres de la millor manera possible: amb radicalitat democràtica (1/3) https://t.co/kqTSowmJD2— Ada Colau (@AdaColau) 12 of November 2017
Continuarem governant en base a objectius concrets. Amb tot el diàleg que la ciutat es mereix i buscant acords amb tots els grups (2/3)— Ada Colau (@AdaColau) 12 of November 2017
Gràcies @jaumecollboni per la feina conjunta al servei de Barcelona. Tant de bo el PSC abandoni aviat pactes amb PP/Cs/Unió i recuperi aliances d'esquerres (3/3) — Ada Colau (@AdaColau) 12 of November 2017