The joke is a recurrent theme these days among neighbors of Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona): “A government of the left to raise taxes at all…”. For 2022, the TAX will be 3% more expensive, a rise that the tripartite Esquerra, PSC and CUP hopes to raise three billion euros additional. The city Council estimates an additional cost of about 30 euros per property, which will be dedicated to “expanding social services.” The neoconvergentes —who in may lost the city government after 32 years — remind us that the assessment was frozen and argue that you had to resort to other pathways. The ideological differences are abysmal. The drive for independence, also.

Sant Cugat is the municipality with the highest income per capita in Catalonia, (19.151 euros, according to the INE). With 90,000 inhabitants, of golf courses is practically in the center, and a civic vitality that is uncommon in a population-bedroom, has also been the laboratory of the new batch of charges neoconvergentes of the government. The list is long: the president of the Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa, was mayor, as well as the exconsejero of Territory, Lluís Recorder; they are also the current holder of that portfolio, Damià Calvet, and the impeller of the digital policies of the Government, Jordi Puigneró.

“Sant Cugat is a way of understanding the urban planning, of relating to companies”, explains the exalcaldesa and now leader of the opposition Carmela Fortuny. Hence, the covenant between republicans, socialists and anti-capitalists to get with the mayor’s office is lived by the neoconvergentes as a direct attack on your waterline. Maybe the episode is more revealing of the infighting by the hegemony of the pro-independence Catalan, exacerbated in the last few months.

Fortuny won the elections with 27% of the votes and nine city council members (most are 13). Far, with six, was CKD (19.4 per cent). The anti-capitalist harvested three council members, with 11% of votes, losing one with respect to the previous mandate. Despite the fact that the force most voted for tried to close a deal with the republicans —even from before the election— finally all ended with the great left-wing coalition. Put point and end to 32 years of government of convergence and union: one of the first administrations to take seriously the paradigm of the smart city, but also tarnished by the scandal of the payment of commissions in exchange for public work, the case of the 3%.

In the April general, ERC managed to be the force most voted in Catalonia, with more than a million votes, and 15 seats. It was a historical outcome that gave the republicans the gas for a few elections on the local also managed to be the first force (with the 23% of the vote) and who has won more councillors (one third of the total), although with fewer municipalities that Junts per Catalunya. Despite attempts by the leaderships of both sides to respect the lists with the highest votes, prevailed the urge to take hits where it hurts most.

the Controversy surrounding management

The delivery of the agreement, in Sant Cugat, in fact, revealed the contradictions within the pro-independence. The mayor, a republican, Mireia Ingla, who after three attempts finally managed to take down the wand of office, was vested in the middle of the shouts of supporters of the ANC, which had denounced the pact with “the 155”, in reference to the PSC. In parallel, ERC alleged similar reasons to charge against Junts per Catalunya by agreeing with the socialists in the Provincial council of Barcelona. The CUP, in the middle, holding on to the fact that for the purpose could be to lift all the carpets of the CiU.

“We ratify the decision of the seal of that great covenant of the left. Justifies the mess in the management that we have encountered and the lack of social policies,” argues Ingla. The mayor ensures that found many contracts completed or infrafinanciados. Fortuny denies the largest and insists on the strictness of your management, which also considers seal model Sant Cugat.

The campaign of the city of Sant Cugat also got rid of another constant tension between the pro-independence: the idea of a list unit. Fortuny regrets that Ingla has not accepted this approach in a moment, he says, in “the street asks us to unity.” In the application that led, in fact, 19 of the 25 seats were occupied by independents. “Have primacy of the symbolic character of his covenant over and above what the people voted, and a model of the city’s widely supported,” adds the exalcaldesa. Ingla asked not to give lessons of independence. “There are some who instead of looking and working for the end goal is dedicated to gesticulate,” he answers.

A city side that is pushing many of its neighbours

Deborah A., 45 years old, had to leave Sant Cugat, the town where she spent her childhood. The accounts gave no despite working in a large company: “For the price that I bought an old floor in there could get me on the mortgage for one with a swimming pool and community areas in Terrassa”. Your case is not the only one.

The Generalitat of Catalonia has a statistical-based pricing on the bonds to be deposited by the rentals. The average price in Sant Cugat, in the past year, was 1,150 euros per month. Just beyond two other municipalities and the district of barcelona Sarria-Sant Gervasi.

The life of garden city almost design is not cheap. 3,86 euros was what was hard this Friday evening to cross the tunnel of Vallvidrera, which connects the Catalan capital of barcelona with Sant Cugat in seven minutes. Thanks to this step, opened in 1991, the small village became a desired city bedroom. A boom difficult to manage.

The access to housing was one of the great themes of the last election campaign. With little more than 100 days of government it is difficult to show solutions in this area. But the complaint remains. “We are a city that has more children and teenagers than the average for Catalonia, but there is a great bite in the population pyramid when it reaches the age of emancipation. The housing is the issue”, says Emili Marlés, a priest of the parish of Sant Pere d Octavià. Càritas Sant Cugat attended 1.662 people last year, with different profiles, from immigrants, especially venezuelans and hondurans, to “families that are already unable to reach the end of the month,” explains the priest. “We have more than 200 volunteers. Sant Cugat is a very common”, apostille.

The living forces of Sant Cugat believe that it is very premature to make assessments about the change of management. “There is an inertia, very marked by the previous model, and that makes any change, if there is one, late, noticed,” says the president of the Sant Cugat Business, Joan Franquesa. All in all, the entrepreneur sees with good eyes “formal changes”, such as the creation of a tenure of ftaaldía dedicated only to the promotion of economic. Also charges against the rise in the IBI, which believes that it will have “catastrophic consequences”.


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