The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has put on the table of the Government of Spain that a pinch of the recovery funds promised by the European Union to get out of the crisis caused by the pandemic, baptized as Next Generation, are destined for neighborhoods such as the of the Besòs.
This would be a kind of resurrection of the Neighborhood Plan that in its day launched the left tripartite in Catalonia , with remarkable results, but that later governments allowed to languish. On this occasion, however, the fuel of the plan would be the transfer carried out by the central Executive.
The Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz , has picked up the glove and has expressed, at least,the support for this proposal by the part of the Government it represents, that of United We Can .
Colau dances with some neighbors from the Bon Pastor neighborhood of Barcelona during a visit with Vice President Yolanda Díaz
The announcement was not an idea launched on the fly, but an initiative presented with a thoughtful staging. Díaz and Colau took a walk in the middle of the morning through the streets of the Besòs neighborhood, the eastern border of the city, a place densely populated and badly punished by the previous economic crisis, that of 2008, from which they were not saved despite having from the industrial fabric of the city.
The comparison with 2008
In Colau’s opinion, which was later endorsed by the minister, part of the industrial land in that area of the city has to be reborn focused on the new economy, but it is also necessary to invest in environmentally rehabilitating homes , in improving professional training and in increase the number of social floors , but not as part of a set of welfare policies, but because the economy of a country has its foundations in places like this.
He has said yes, it is understood that in a personal capacity, the person in charge of Labor and Social Economy. In his opinion, the Next Generation funds are an opportunity not to repeat the mistakes made to get out of the financial crisis of 2008 .
On that occasion, the aid went to the top of the economy, but that irrigation barely dampened the rest of society. According to Díaz, it will be as important now to help the automobile industry to take the step towards electrifying the models it produces, as to ensure that neighborhoods such as Besòs, at their scale, are also an economic engine.
In defense of her argument, the minister congratulated herself on the unemployment data known during her visit to Barcelona. The drop in unemployment has been the largest in history . Unemployment has been located in a very short period of time, thanks in large part to the strategy of the erte, in the pre-pandemic indexes.
The unemployment caused by the 2008 crisis dragged along 11 hard years. It is with this precedent and with what happened now that the minister considers that the Next Generation have to refloat the situation “from the bottom up”, and not the other way around, as was wrongly intended 13 years ago .
The chimneys of the Besòs
In his speech, Colau has referred to the Besòs neighborhood, but by extension also to the neighboring area of the neighboring municipality, Sant Adrià del Besòs, as he has included the iconic chimneys of the old thermal power planton your list of places that should be invested with Next Generation checks.
There has been, for years, a clear plan for them, beyond the fact that their conservation already seems indisputable. At 180 meters high, they are part of the metropolitan ‘skyline’ and they have been dreamed of by the administrations that host, for example, a cultural center.
The current lack of definition, however, will not help them to receive European funds quickly, but the area in which they are located is destined to undergo a transformation of a great caliber. In fact, it is quite a territorial rarity, because due to different circumstances it has seen the world around it (Badalona, Santa Coloma and Barcelona) change by leaps and bounds and, nevertheless, all that space, with its enormous potential due to its location, communications ,