Response to Rajoy

29 May 2016

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Economy

Rajoy says that we, the new mayors of Madrid and Barcelona, are putting the country's economy at risk. Right! That's from the man who has been Spain's prime minister since 2011, and presided over the worst cuts and the financial rescue; from the highest representative of the most corrupt party in the history of democracy. And from the man who wants to govern with a grand coalition, alongside the (socialist) PSOE and (conservative) Cs, to ensure stability. His stability. 

I understand why he's saying this: the only real alternative to the (conservative) PP today is the one being built by the people from the grassroots up. And, in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona that voted for change, we are showing, with all due modesty, that the economy can be run to serve the majority. For instance: here in Barcelona, we have responded to his tax amnesties by deciding that the City Council will not work with any company that operates in tax havens to avoid paying taxes; here in Barcelona, we have responded to his "austerity" policies and Montoro's law, aimed at privatising public services, by declaring education and social services to be essential services, so we can take on new teachers and social workers. Exports have grown, we've tripled our employment plans and we've halted a general rise in the IBI (property tax), by raising it for only 2% of the highest income band...

These are merely a few examples of the many policies we are implementing. Measures which confirm that not only is there an alternative to his criminal policies but also that we, new movements driven by the people, mean business. That we're here by conviction, with honesty and professionalism. That we're not afraid and we've come to stay, in other words, to throw them out and do a better job. And that's why they're so nervous now. It's only natural. 

In the coming weeks, as we approach the elections, we'll be hearing all kinds of things: anti-system, disorder, a power vacuum, chaos, investors fleeing in terror... But for us it'll be business as usual: working for the common good, inside and outside the institutions, and countering this information ourselves, through the social media networks. And winning at the polls on the 26 June, just as we did at the municipal elections. Because we're the majority and now we know "yes we can".

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This blog features ideas, thoughts and reflections on my daily life as the Mayor of Barcelona.

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