Ada Colau party breaks coalition with Socialists over Article 155

Barcelona deputy mayor rejects possibility of creating pact with any other party

Barcelona deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello and Barcelona in Common spokesperson Enric Bárcena on November 12 2017 (by ACN)
Barcelona deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello and Barcelona in Common spokesperson Enric Bárcena on November 12 2017 (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 12, 2017 03:08 PM

The government of Barcelona is going to change very soon, due to a decision taken by the members of the governing Barcelona in Common citizen platform (Barcelona en Comú, or BeC). The coalition, to which Barcelona mayor Ada Colau belongs, and which is currently governing the Catalan capital, has decided to break their municipal pact with the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) today. The decision was taken due to disagreements over the Application of Article 155 by the Spanish government to seize Catalan self-rule.

In the internal vote, 54.18% voted to break the pact, while 45.68% voted against doing so. Moving forward, deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello denied that BeC would seek to govern the city with any other party. “We will look for all the necessary agreements with all political forces in order to strengthen the lines of government that were consolidated over the span of 2 years,” Pisarello guaranteed.

Article 155 was the main reason

This vote comes just over a month before the snap elections on December 21 called by the Spanish government as part of its application of Article 155, and indeed, BeC’s decision was largely based on the PSC’s stance to the application of this constitutional article. BeC and its larger Catalan counterpart, Catalonia in Common (Catalonia en Comú), has embraced the position of ‘Neither unilateral declaration of independence nor 155,’ exemplified in Colau’s stance in the last month. Conversely, the PSC’s attitude towards the Spanish government’s application of Article 155 to seize Catalonia’s self-rule has been one of support.

BeC and the PSC entered into an agreement after the former won the elections in Barcelona in May 2015 but failed to secure a majority in the City Council. Consequently, about a year later, the coalition decided to join forces with the PSC, and it is on this agreement that the current Barcelona government is based.

A unionist front would be “political suicide,” says Ballart

Yet, some in the PSC itself are not happy with the direction the party is going in, either. Jordi Ballart, former mayor of the town of Terrassa, situated west of Barcelona, opposed the possibility of the PSC may choosing to join forces with any unionist parties following the December 21 elections. In an interview with the ACN, Ballart stated that this would spell out “political suicide” for the party, adding that he already disagrees how close the Socialists have gotten with the “front” led by the conservative right-wing People’s Party (PP) and unionist Ciutadans (C’s). Both the PP and C’s, according to Ballart, “go against Catalonia.”