After the municipal elections of May 24, the map of political power in Spanish cities has experienced a real turnaround. On June 13, over 8,100 councils were constituted throughout Spain resulting in a political panorama that can only be defined as revolutionary and hope-filled. Four of the ten most populated cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Valencia – a total of 6.2 million residents) will be governed by alternative leftist candidates, primarily under the umbrella of the main player in the political change: the new anti-austerity party Podemos.
There is no doubt that Madrid and Barcelona, the two main Spanish cities, have become the spearheads of this revolution for various reasons. Both cities will have female mayors, for the first time in its history in the case of Barcelona. But the change that stands out the most is that both Manuela Carmena, the new mayor of Madrid, and Ada Colau, the new mayor of Barcelona, will base their policies on taking into account the interests of the majority… and especially of those most in need. To begin this process they have announced that they will reduce their own salaries, and will stop the many foreclosures that have happened in these cities over the last few years.
These changes that are happening in Spain reflect a growing maturity of the Spanish society. As a consequence of the crisis of the last years countries around us like France and Greece have channelled the economic unrest constructively through social movements that aim to improve the wellbeing of the majority of the population – not only the powerful or the banks. Spain is now on the same path. Proof of this are the first words pronounced by Ada Colau, as new mayor of Barcelona: “Thank you to all citizens for making the impossible, possible.”