Barcelona: Catalan and great Spanish capital
The objective of the People’s Party in these municipal elections is to obtain the needed support of citizens to steer political change in Barcelona’s City Council in the right direction. We cannot go beyond three decades of Socialist government, which has left the Catalan capital in a deplorable situation regarding security, antisocial behaviour, and with severe cases of non-fulfilment in infrastructure; a nationalist government backed by pro-independence supporters, who base their strategy on identity-related objectives and not on city-model ones.
The People’s Party wants to take Barcelona’s leadership back, firstly to recover from the crisis. It is needed to involve and make civil society take responsibility in a new collaboration model combining public and private initiative. It is about attracting investment to Barcelona, which must recuperate its capital status as a decision and innovation centre. More investment in infrastructure is needed in order to improve Barcelona’s connection with national and international economic centres. It is not the moment, as the nationalists pretend, of losing time in pro-independence consultation processes. They only manage offering an image that does not correspond with Barcelona’s reality: the Catalan capital and a great Spanish capital open to the world and that is cosmopolitan.
Barcelona’s prestigious brand needs to be protected and entrepreneurs need to be supported, as they are our city’s present and future because they are the main social and economic engine. To do so, we need an administration being an engine and not a dead weight, being next to the entrepreneurs. The People’s Party wants to put an end to an interventionist local administration, which conditions and damages economic activity, because sometimes it even wants to replace private activity. We propose simplifying the municipal administration by 30% and obtaining an agile city council, where the creation of economic activity is facilitated and the slow nature of the administration – which is currently characteristic in Barcelona – is ended.
We must recuperate the prestige of Barcelona’s brand, as we cannot allow tourists going back at their homes and telling stories of how they were mugged or that basic public services do not work. Tourism represents 14% of our city’s GDP and 9% of employment; it is thus necessary to work for a better, family oriented, cultural and civic-minded type of tourism, which would bring revenue to the catering and trade sectors, and the hotel and taxi industries.
We at the People’s Party want Barcelona to be a brave and entrepreneurial city again. Barcelona must be the epicentre of a great southern European and Mediterranean region. Barcelona must be a capital city and at the same time a metropolis that is cosmopolitan, open, plural and a symbol of freedom without official impositions.
Alberto Fernández Díaz
Head of the People’s Party (PP) candidature to Barcelona’s City Council