The results of the Catalan elections could alter Mayor Jaume Collboni’s governance plans for Barcelona. The Socialists, with the peace of mind given by having approved the municipal budgets for this year since May 2, the fastest in the history of the city, continue to work on the hypothesis of the extension of the executive local within a period of no more than two months, as confirmed by several sources consulted by La Vanguardia, but admit that at this moment the ball is in ERC’s court, that the decision to join the municipal government or not depends of the republicans

On Wednesday, while the top leaders of Esquerra were planting explosive devices in the same party’s future scenarios, Collboni publicly insisted on his desire to expand his government before the summer and to disassociate the governability of Barcelona from the of Catalonia, since it does not accept that the City Council becomes a currency or an object of transaction. After the chain of events in ERC during the following days, the Socialists continue to think that the government agreement between the two formations remains a possible option in the short-medium term. Obviously, not before the European elections on June 9, but before the summer holidays. However, they are aware that the turbulent moment the republican party is experiencing means that the definition of its role in Barcelona has ceased to be a priority.

The incorporation of ERC into the municipal executive had been put on track at the end of last year with the farewell of ex-socialist Ernest Maragall, first, and later with the budget pact between PSC and ERC at the City Council. It might seem that the implosion experienced by Esquerra throughout this week, after the terrible results obtained on Sunday, would not exactly contribute to solving the government formula in the Consistory of the Catalan capital. A party that has postponed until the congress in November the debate on its leadership and its political orientation, in short on its existential doubts, is now in a position to adopt, within a period of between eight and ten weeks, a strategic decision of such importance as that of entering the government of the city of Barcelona? There are discrepancies, both in the field of ERC and in that of the PSC, when it comes to answering this question. There are not a few who do so affirmatively, but as events are unfolding in the heart of the party that still holds the Government of the Generalitat (although in the withdrawal phase, as could be seen in the security board local on Friday), who is the brave one who dares to put both hands close to the fire without fear of getting burned?

The PSC came out of Sunday’s elections with the satisfaction of once again being the leading political force not only in Catalonia, but also in the capital. The socialists, after the fall suffered in the middle of the previous decade – they hit rock bottom in the municipal elections of 2015, when they got only four councillors–, are firmly convinced that they have closed an almost perfect electoral cycle that has returned them to hegemony lost and, more importantly, political centrality. In the municipal elections of May 28, 2023, the PSC was behind the candidacy of ex-mayor Xavier Trias, who, by the way, still has not set a date for his farewell to the City Council. But two months later, in the general elections of July 23 of last year, with Collboni already invested as mayor thanks to the three-way carambola with commons and populars, and seven days ago, in the parliamentary elections, he prevailed very widely in the city of Barcelona, ​​becoming stronger in the lower-income neighborhoods, which until the lead years of the last decade had voted socialist, but also increasing its presence very noticeably in other middle-class districts and even medium-high

The desire of the PSC to incorporate Esquerra into the minority government of Barcelona, ​​which would lighten the workload of Mayor Collboni’s team, is inversely proportional to the desire – equivalent to zero – to reach a similar agreement with the common Most socialists don’t even want to hear about it…at least as long as Ada Colau continues to lead this formation. Hostilities between the PSC and BComú have been permanent since Collboni precisely replaced Colau in the mayor’s office and this same week, with the election results in hand, they have resurfaced with force. The PSC suspects that its former partners may fall into the temptation to leave the well they rushed into in the last Catalan elections through the confused path of anti-system radicalization in the style of the CUP.

The PSC, which even with the support of the five ERC councilors would not achieve a sufficient majority to govern without conflicts, believes that the very real possibility of the socialists having power at the same time in Spain, Catalonia and Barcelona – the “three in stripe” to which Collboni usually refers – the mayor can flatten the three years that will soon be left in office. Catalan socialists understand that pending and priority issues, such as housing policies, could overcome obstacles and accelerate if the three administrations competent in the matter are of the same political color.

Collboni is relieved despite the absence of partners since he has a budget that allows him to invest as has never been done in Barcelona. However, he knows that in order to tackle major city agreements he will have to look left and right looking for that sufficient majority that he does not have today. This is the case of three major pending revisions, that of the special urban planning plan for tourist accommodation (Peuat), that of the rule that imposes a 30% reserve of the surface for social housing in new developments of flats and major renovations and that of the civics ordinance. In this sense, it will be necessary to keep open the way of dialogue with the Junts municipal group, with Xavier Trias or with his successor.