barcelona's mayor

Ada Colau fifth-most influential person in Europe according to ‘Politico’

December 7, 2016 06:59 PM | ACN

The Mayor of the Catalan capital, Ada Colau, is the fifth-most influential person in Europe for 2017, according to ‘Politico’. “The future of Spain could well rest on [Colau’s] shoulders”, foresees this renowned publication and notes that “with a referendum on Catalonia’s independence on the cards for next year”, Colau’s condition as a “popular, outspoken and independent leader gives her a powerful voice”. However, ‘Politico’ emphasises that Colau’s “vague” position regarding Catalonia’s independence, which according to the publication is “the hottest issue in the region”, “may be hard to maintain” and predicts that “she will not be able to avoid choosing sides as the debate heats up”. The ranking of the 28 most influential people for 2017 also include London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who tops the ranking, and other personalities such as Turkey’s President, Recept Tayyip Erdogan and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

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. 

CiU plans to overthrow Mayor Ada Colau in Barcelona City Hall

October 28, 2016 07:08 PM | ACN

This Friday’s plenary session at Barcelona City Hall resulted in the reprobation of Mayor Ada Colau. All the parties in the Chamber except from the governing alternative left alliance ‘Barcelona en Comú’ and radical left pro-independence CUP criticised Colau’s “politics of gesture”. “Today your government was defeated, the majority in the chamber censors your way of governing and is telling you that we can’t continue like this”, stated liberal CiU’s spokesman in Barcelona City Hall, Joaquim Forn. Moreover, Forn committed to discussing with all the groups in the Chamber how “to build an alternative majority to the current government”. Colau, a former activist especially committed to fighting evictions, won the local elections in May last year. However, she only obtained 11 seats, just one more than the second most voted list, CiU.

Catalan Minister at the UN headquarters: “I am a member of a government working to become an independent state”

May 17, 2016 02:37 PM | ACN

Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability Josep Rull is at the UN Headquarters in New York, together with over 100 representatives of local and regional governments from around the world, in order to prepare ‘Habitat III’, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which will be held in Quito, Ecuador in October. In his intervention, Rull emphasised Catalonia’s push for independence and the legitimacy of such a process in front of the international community. I am a member of a democratically elected government that is working to become an independent state. Earlier, Rull greeted the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon “on behalf of Catalonia”. The Catalan Minister also expressed the Government’s point of view regarding the draft of the New Urban Agenda, a compilation of pledges and new obligations which set in place a new global strategy on urbanisation for the next two decades and which is expected to be approved at the Quito summit. 

Spain takes part of the energy poverty Catalan law before the Constitutional Court

April 29, 2016 05:22 PM | ACN

Less than 24 hours after meeting with her Catalan counterpart, current Spanish Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría announced that some articles of the Catalan law against energy poverty will be taken before the Constitutional Court (TC). Thus, Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras’ demands for the Spanish executive to “reconsider” this procedure haven’t been listened to. However, Santamaría nuanced that those precepts which are in relation to guaranteeing the energy supply to those who may be at social risk are not affected by the suspension. On the other hand, some measures oriented toward avoiding evictions have been suspended. Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, responded by saying that this measure leaves “in the open” the most vulnerable families.  

Barcelona’s Mayor reports to the EC Spain’s “immoral” management of the refugee crisis

April 5, 2016 06:22 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s Mayor, Ada Colau, travelled to Brussels this Tuesday to report Spain’s “immoral”management regarding the refugee crisis, which she described as “deeply shaming”. According to Colau, citizens in Barcelona “are asking to be a host city”and “die of shame and outrage when they see images of Lesbos and Idomeni”. “We are part of the solution, we have expertise and are willing to help”she stated, but regretted that sometimes local governments “are not taken into account”. Together with other European mayors, Colau met the EU's migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, and asked them to “listen to the local governments”. Avramopoulos assured that he “took note”of Colau’s demands but emphasised that EU support to local authorities is always “through the Member States”.

Barcelona reaches an agreement with Athens to initially host 100 refugees

March 16, 2016 06:33 PM | ACN

The Catalan capital reached an agreement with Athens to host 100 refugees from those living in camps in the Greek capital. This compromise is the first stage of a collaboration programme between both cities, which may be enhanced by the respective mayors in the near future. Since the competences regarding the refugees’ hosting depend on the Spanish State, Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, will send a letter to the current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, so that the necessary procedures can be started as soon as possible. In the same vein, Colau criticised Spain’s inactivity on this matter, pointing out that the Spanish government “took the compromise to relocate 16,000 people and have only relocated 18”, she stated.

Barcelona hosts 15th edition of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

November 13, 2015 03:05 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Under the slogan ‘Defend refugees. Achieve world peace’a dozen Nobel Peace Laureates, professors, students and worldwide organisations will tackle the refugee humanitarian crisis and try to offer practical solutions. At the presentation of the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Barcelona, current Catalan President, Artur Mas, assured that the Catalan capital and the whole of Catalonia “are ready”to welcome those who run from war. He described Catalonia as “a good laboratory”of social cohesion and reception experiences on an international scale, as it has repeatedly welcomed people from all over Spain and was the point of departure for many Civil War exiles. Barcelona City Hall’s First Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, highlighted Barcelona’s efforts to become a world leader in peace and in respecting human rights.