Xavier García Albiol has ceased to be mayor of Badalona since this Monday. The opposition of the city has expelled the first mayor of the Popular Party in a motion of censure raised after the appearance of Albiol in the Pandora Papers, as head of a company offshore. All the parties in the plenary session, with the exception of the popular ones, have agreed to support Rubén Guijarro, the leader of the PSC in the city, who will form a coalition government with ERC, the Comuns and Junts, but not thus with Guanyem, the second largest opposition formation, which nevertheless has guaranteed support for the municipal corporation to get going.
Badalona, the ungovernable city that doubts that this is the end of Albiol
Guijarro has become the fifth mayor of Badalona in six years, a record that reflects the political crisis that the city has experienced since the last legislature. The new city councilor arrives with the challenge of leading the municipal administration until the 2023 elections and the commitment to prepare and approve new budgets, after neither of the last two mayors could form a sufficient majority to approve the accounts. Guijarró must also form an Executive that turns the page not only from the Albio stage, but also from the last socialist mayor, who left the mayor’s office through the back door after being discovered driving under the influence of alcohol during the months of confinement by the pandemic.
In his speech before the plenary session, Guijarro has assured that the reason why he has led a motion of censure was, first, the “lies” of Albiol regarding his participation in the company based in Belize and, later, that he had ” entrenched “in the mayor’s office. “If the current mayor had assumed his responsibility and resigned, we probably would not have raised a motion of censure. He had the option to go out and explain himself to the public, but decided to put his interests before those of the city,” said the new Mayor.
In his turn to speak, Albiol practically did not refer to the appearance of his name in the Pandora Papers, beyond ensuring that it was a “commercial power” that was “legal sixteen years ago and legal to exist today.” Beyond this, the leader of the PP has charged against what has been his opposition since May 2020. “This motion of censure is solely based on everyone against Albiol,” he said. A motion “forced by the political class against the will and majority sentiment” of the neighbors, apparently from the outgoing mayor. A “pact in the offices” that the conservative has once again turned into his main black beast.
Albiol has also made it clear that he is going to remain in the opposition and has also left the door open to stand in the elections again in 2023. “Neighbors, you have my commitment that I will continue working with each and every one of you in the neighborhoods of the city, “said an Albiol who has recognized himself as” very affected “by the situation experienced this week. “Today begins the countdown to 2023 and, neighbors, have no doubts that in 2023 you are going to place each of us in our place,” the outgoing mayor has launched as a last warning to his adversaries.
The agreement reached by the opposition forces will make up a choral government with responsibilities shared between four formations – PSC, ERC, Comuns and JxC – and in which there will be up to six mayoral tenures. Among them, together with Mayor Guijarro, the leader of ERC, Alex Montornès, who will occupy the council focused on economic recovery after the pandemic, and Aïda Llauradó, the head of the Comuns, who will manage the area of Social Rights.
For its part, Guanyem Badalona, a formation in which the CUP is integrated, will finally be left out of the Executive, after not being able to close an agreement with the PSC. “For us the motion was a priority and it made sense by itself, but we thought it was an opportunity to do things differently and not go from a minority government of the PP to a minority government of the PSC. This has not been possible because of the old politics, “denounced Guanyem’s spokeswoman, Nora San Sebastian.