barcelona's city hall

Barcelona Mayor to submit to vote of confidence after failing to pass 2017 budget

November 16, 2016 07:11 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s Mayor, Ada Colau, will have to submit to a vote of confidence after the opposition blocked the budget presented by the local government for 2017. All the opposition parties except from the Catalan socialists (PSC), with whom the executive has an agreement, voted against the new accounts in a committee on Tuesday. Colau said this Wednesday that she is “not afraid” of a vote of confidence, but stated that “there is still room to reach an agreement” and to avoid it. In this vein, the mayor stressed her will to “seriously take into account all the arguments and proposals made” by the opposition to improve the budget that will be voted on on the 23rd of December. If Colau loses this vote, the opposition will have a month to submit a vote of no confidence - which will need to be supported by at least 21 councillors (absolute majority) to force her out. 

Barcelona cracks down on illegal subletting for tourists and closes 256 apartments

August 11, 2016 06:35 PM | ACN

The Catalan capital’s action plan against illegal accommodation for tourists resulted in July in the closure of 256 apartments whose activity has been considered illegal, a figure which has to be added to the 112 orders announced in the first half of 2016. Besides ordering the ceasing of their activity, the accommodation websites responsible for the flats, Airbnb and Homeaway, will have to face a 30,000 euros fine for not having the required licence. This has been possible mainly due to the task of the so-called ‘flat scouts’, a figure recently created by Barcelona’s city hall, who have found 234 illegal accommodations, while the official inspectors in charge of this only detected 22. “This is not a summer campaign but an action plan which has come to stay” warned Barcelona’s deputy mayor for Ecology, Urbanism and Mobility, Janet Sanz and emphasised that tourism in Barcelona “is not related to seasons”. 

Barcelona closes the Immigrant Detention Centre, but Spain immediately orders its reopening

July 7, 2016 06:55 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s City Hall has found a legal stratagem for not reopening the Immigrant Detention Centre (CIE), which closed in October for renovation works. The CIE, located in Barcelona’s industrial ‘Zona Franca’ area, didn’t have the correct activity licence nor comply with fire regulations and thus the Catalan capital called for the Spanish Ministry for Affairs, the body responsible for the centre, to cease the CIE’s activity. However, the Delegation of the Spanish Government to Catalonia has announced in a communiqué the reopening of the CIE once the works are done and that the judicial services will appeal Barcelona City Hall’s decision. Before hearing about the reopening notice, Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Asens, stated that if the Ministry refuses the order and reopens the CIE “coercive measures” such as fines or “sealing off the centre” will have to be put in place.