United we will push forward

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The current economic crisis, together with the fiscal treatment Catalonia receives from the Spanish government, is making things difficult for many working and middle-class families, as well as our country’s entrepreneurs. In addition, the implementation of restraint policies and budget cuts means directly and negatively affecting the welfare state’s basic pillars, such as healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Our capital city has learned how to keep being strong during difficult times. In this line, Barcelona is an opportunity to demonstrate that we can overcome the current situation. However, the current model, which has been a success in the last number of years, does not work any more; it has been lengthened to its maximum, and cannot be extended anymore.

Unitat per Barcelona’ (Unity for Barcelona), the pro-Catalan-independence coalition formed by ‘Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya’ (ERC), ‘Reagrupament’ and ‘Democràcia Catalana’, is an example of what we want to do in Barcelona. It is an example because it is during difficult times that society must know how to put all its efforts together to overcome adversity with a constructive vision. This applies to our own united force: we have been able to overcome our differences and our coalition is built on the values of unity and inclusion. This alliance is the fruit of this ability to overcome differences to build a project, which aims to make Barcelona the best city to live in.

‘Unitat per Barcelona’ is offering an opportunity for inclusion, without being equidistant; we are running to fight for the victory in order to overcome difficult moments. We have done it before. We are endorsed by not having been in the same government for 32 years neither have we been in the same opposition for 32 years; on the contrary we have a polyhedral vision and we have a culture of agreement in our DNA. The first proposal in our programme is fighting the crisis by a process of re-industrialisation. It would be located into the metropolitan framework and the Metropolitan Area, which will start running from September onwards thanks to ERC. Catalonia went through the commercial revolution, later the 19th century also the 20th century industrial revolutions and now we need to know how to make the industrial revolution link itself to knowledge, because industry brings together quality in labour. The objective for re-industrialising is to create 50,000 jobs, affecting all strategic sectors. To do so we will have to push for creating Areas of Intelligent Development, set localisation agreements, develop technological innovation ecosystems, and, on top of this, find tens of millions of euros to invest in strategic companies with the direct intervention of the City Council in the companies. All this within an independent political framework, convinced about the words the IMF’s former president said some days ago “Catalonia might become one of the wealthiest countries in the world if it were independent”. The independence translation in Barcelona’s City Council is strengthening the capital status by the total implementation of the Municipal Charter. We cannot unlink the recovery from the crisis with the Right to Decide. We cannot separate a social objective from the objective of recovering from the crisis, and  it is obvious that more political power is needed.

 

Jordi Portabella

Head of the ‘Unitat per Barcelona’ candidutare for Barcelona’s City Council

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