"Pascual is remembered as the best mayor that Barcelona has had". These precise words of the current mayor of the Catalan capital, Ada Colau, have closed the second annual conference of the Pasqual Maragall Legacy, held this afternoon at the RBA Foundation with the presence of more than 300 people and numerous media.
Odón Elorza, deputy to the Congress for Guipúzcoa and Mayor of San Sebastián between 1991 and 2011, has been the special guest of the event. Pascual's great friend, Elorza has referred to him as "teacher and model, for his passion and way of developing a model of city that he was in love with, and to know how to transmit that love to citizens". In his conference, which was entitled "The governance of cities", Elorza has clearly claimed the importance of cities as a space of hope in the face of the current crisis. "Today we look at the cities because it is the space in which the true political and democratic regeneration has to be developed".
In the context of electoral fragmentation that we live in today, the pact is a key element, he said. "Maragall was an advanced in the application of governance mechanisms in the city, placed in Barcelona as a model of innovation in the world, and he did mobilizing all its people with a great deal of city". "What would a city be without organisms, companies, associations, entities ... Its value is incalculable, we must give them more prominence". In this sense, Elorza believes that it is necessary to promote the creation of civic lobbies, with integrating but divergent projects.
Francesc Homs, Councilor of the Presidency of the Generalitat in office, also wanted to highlight the will to pact that characterized the governments of Maragall. "In Pascual he is a man who is not afraid and who believes in the pact, he did things because he really believed, and acted accordingly". A fact that contrasts, according to Homs, with the difficulty to reach agreements and solutions currently agreed upon.
Ada Colau, for her part, has shown her agreement with Elorza with the idea that governance is expressed above all in cities. "The style of government of Maragall in Barcelona is a good example of urban governance and betting on municipalism today is the answer to the global challenges we have to face".
With regard to these challenges, Elorza believes that a height policy will be necessary to overcome them; "An economic recovery of human profile and not cold figures". He considers that the governance challenges that the next general elections will leave us will be very important, both for Spain and for Catalonia and, referring to Margall, he added: "I wish we could have you up here to tell us what we should do in Spain in 2016".
Eulàlia Vintró and Quim Nadal have guided and accompanied the participants of the conference. At the beginning of the event, a video with fragments of all the interviews carried out within the framework of the Pasqual Maragall Legacy was reproduced.
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