The mayor and candidate for re-election in Barcelona, Ada Colau (Barcelona, 1974), visits ARA shortly before going to see the political prisoners in Lledoners. When he goes out, some strangers ask to take a picture with her.
He took the subtitle of the person of change in Barcelona. And at this moment, in the next election, he will be the only candidate who will leave the City Council. Lady Colau, a lot has changed, right?
In historical terms, we have experienced a great exception and in the end I met three presidents of the Generalitat, two presidents of the state and we go to the municipal elections where there will be many changes.
One of the candidates will probably be Quim Forn, who is in prison and during the months of the campaign will defend himself in court.
I will do all that is in my hands and I will claim that he can campaign with the same rights as others. I will defend your right to be a legitimate candidate. I think the preventive prison is an outrage. We have always said it: we believe that the process that will begin soon is based on unfounded accusations. In fact, these days I'm visiting all political prisoners, both in Lledoners and in Carmen and Dolores.
Are you going to do something in the town hall about the process?
We are talking with the municipal groups, in particular with the PDECat and with Esquerra, to make an institutional declaration denouncing the judicial process as an abuse of power and arbitrariness. It will be Europe or it will be otherwise, but we all know that the cause will eventually fall, because fortunately there has been no violence. I think this is a good moment, just before the trial, because we make an institutional declaration, because we translate it into all languages and that Barcelona is a speaker in Europe reporting a procedure that has no guarantees and, unfortunately, has more to dealing with political revenge rather than doing justice.
On 19 January, Catalunya in Comú will discuss a document proposing a Catalan Constitution within a Spanish Federal Republic. Is it a change?
We have always said that a referendum should be held, but also, despite telling us ingenuously, that Catalonia can make progress can always be done more and better within the framework of a republican Spain. The events of the last year have shown that in a Spain governed by the right, and now with the extreme right, in Catalonia it will be worse. Recently I called Dolores Bassa – and I totally agree with her – that it is not the same Spain governed by rights that governed by the majority that made the motion of censure against the PP.
Seen as Vox consolidates in Andalusia, some will continue to say naive and others who choke cold iron.
I think the thesis of the worst, the best was shown an error. What are the real alternatives? The unilateral way, without international recognition, without a sufficient social majority, has led to a dead end. And now we are considering a bilateral relationship between Catalonia and the State, to start a dialogue that was previously unthinkable, to talk about more socially balanced than ever, that Catalonia can regain a minimum investment capacity to meet basic needs that do not they can wait any longer. I mean, I think it's another scenario.
Can this scenario also move to the city of Barcelona?
What do you mean?
Would this understanding between the forces of change, to put it in some way, move it to Barcelona?
I think so. They are as serious as the extreme right appears in our institutions. And we have to deal with health, education, if there are any pediatricians missing in the CAP, if there are teachers, nurseries, addiction … We are talking about very basic things about everyday life and that if we do not face them, they are also a broth Cultivation for the right ends.
With the current political scenario, what kind of campaign do you expect?
We must be able to talk about Barcelona, which is very important. And this is not a bad game either false news.
Do you have something about it?
I do not know They say that Vox will be presented in Barcelona. We have to see if it does and with which techniques. And Cs has always been a bit in that red line. Mr. Valls has already seen that he wants to be alarmed about the issue of security, which is a fundamentally extreme right-wing technique. I think it is played with fire and it is very dangerous, and it also damages the image of the city.
In any case, security is obviously an issue that worries citizens. Is your management, for example on mantras, considered a success?
We must speak strictly of a complex phenomenon, which is not at this moment. The Urban Guard, in collaboration with the Mossos d'Esquadra, produces weekly devices, confiscation of illegal goods and so on. But this problem is not solved only politically. We have promoted over a hundred employment plans and over a hundred people who were selling on the street today have professions and have regularized their situation.
The keepers are evicted one day and the next day they come back to be there. This is what citizens see.
Here we have to ask ourselves what's behind this. We ask the state, as do many other cities in Europe, to grant some kind of work permit. Furthermore there is a large illegal activity that shifts tons and tons of goods. This illegal merchandise is not generated in the city of Barcelona.
Where is he from?
It arrives in different places: through the port, in the streets, is stored in the department stores, which are known, of the metropolitan area … There is a social problem and a question of illegal trafficking of goods that do not it can only be solved by the municipal field.
The last municipal barometer collected the worst data on the mandate of its government. There is a growing number of people who believe that the city has worsened: it is already 60 percent. What do you attribute it to exactly?
Barcelona has improved in all economic indicators. In the most difficult moments, in 155, the images of repression and so on, not only did we not lose the congress but we attracted new ones, such as the audiovisual one. That said, we're the first ones we've been saying for months that there were specific security issues that required a lot more attention and a much more determined action. I was the first Now we have removed 300 new squares from the Guàrdia Urbana to unite the following year. For years we have not added a single squadron in the city of Barcelona. This, of course, is noticed, you are feeling a lot, and especially in Ciutat Vella.
What kind of crime do you suffer?
We talk about professional violators, not surviving thieves. We had the problem that they came to court and there was a queue as long as the crimes prescribed. Now, finally, speaking with justice and with the deputy judge, the necessary agreements have already been signed so that in February a second court begins.
The first vice mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, said a few months ago in an interview with the ARA that initially needed time, because they had no political experience. What did you learn, the mayor?
I learned a lot of things. The first year brought us to start just because there was this ignorance of the administration. One thing is to make a decision and another is to know which specific mechanisms you need to activate for that decision to materialize.
¿Colau PAH spokesman would be happy with the management of Mayor Colau?
Well, I'm the same person. I have exactly the same goals and the same motivations for being in politics. In fact, I believe that in this mandate we have been able to do many things that had never been done. The fact that 30 percent of new promotions must be allocated to public housing, for example. We have frozen the IBI. We have created the largest municipal public green energy operator. Or the proposal of the municipal dentist. It is a program of change.
Are the limits mainly found in housing issues?
You have budget limits, powers, but in the case of the house, for example, we saw that we could do much more than what was done.
And much less than expected.
No. We started, as anticipated, the construction of over 4,600 houses. That is, the next term will double the social rental park.
In a much longer period than expected.
It is a qualitative leap, but it is true that construction takes more time than I would like. In addition, we added 1,000 homes with pay and withdrawal. And above all, we are renouncing a battle to regulate rents, which is the key issue that many neighbors threaten to expel them with speculation, which I believe is the great enemy of the city. Our main objective is that the people living in Barcelona remain and can not be expelled from the prices of the house or of life in general.
Now that Gerardo Pisarello has confirmed that he will not continue his next term, will he know who will be his second? Jordi Martí?
My evaluation of Jordi Martí is very positive and I count on him for a second term. With what particular figure we will end up talking, both with Barcelona in common and with itself. People must know the machine and help it move it.
We talked before the agreements with other forces. Would you be willing, for example, to be the deputy mayor of Ernest Maragall?
The truth is that I have not raised, I'm going to win the election to become mayor of the city of Barcelona. And if it can be, with more support than we had. I do not consider anything else.
But it turns out that there should be agreements with the rest of the municipal forces.
My desire, as it was at the beginning of this mandate, would be to reach as stable as possible agreements with progressive forces. And if Esquerra moves away from the position he has had in recent years, to whisper, to subordinate himself to the old CiU, to the PDECat, and to bet on his leftist politics, we will always find ourselves.
Are you still confident in passing the tram problem?
And so much. Last year all the technical work was done and now it's ready to connect. It must be a city infrastructure that allows thousands of cars to be removed from the center, pollution levels reduced and mobility in the city center improved and facilitated. If it has everything! All are benefits.
Did you say that the mayor is the same person as the activist? Do you live in the same place? Do you continue to go on the subway? Has your life changed?
Well, something has changed, but I live in the same rented apartment. The only thing is that they have increased rent by 30 percent. Therefore I am very aware of the problem.
I imagine the price of the T-10 is known.
10.20, yes. By the way, we froze and made an effort because we thought it was going to get stuck.