Rubén Guijarro (Barcelona 1982), leader of the opposition in the Badalona City Council, where the PSC has six of the 27 councilors, says he is convinced that the mayor of the PP, Xavier García Albiol (with 11 councilors) will end up resigning as a result of the scandal that he appeared as the owner of a company in the tax haven of Belize in the investigation of the Pandora Papers. The rest of the opposition parties, Guanyem, ERC, En Comú Podem and Junts, are willing to present a motion of censure to evict García Albiol and all look to Guijarro as a possible substitute. The controversial popular leader, who is also the president of the PP mayors committee, regained the mayoralty in 2020 due to the lack of agreement from the left after the resignation of the socialist Àlex Pastor, after skipping confinement and driving drunk. The interview takes place while Guijarro, who replaced Pastor as head of the Socialist ranks in Badalona, participates in Valencia in the PSOE Congress.
Question. García Albiol has stated that he does not intend to resign and the PP leadership does not see it necessary either. The rest of the opposition formations are about to present a motion of censure but the numbers will not come out without the six socialist councilors. What is the position of the PSC?
Answer. What has happened is a real scandal, that a mayor and a councilor appear in a society offshore not to pay taxes in his country … And even more that he lives entrenched in the lie because it has been shown that the society was active, that it was not from friends, but that there were two positions of the PP [en la misma sociedad aparece también el concejal Ramón Riera], and that economic transactions were carried out. It can’t last another minute. For democratic hygiene and shame they should resign.
P.What will the PSC do if he does not resign?
“The mayor, out of democratic hygiene and shame, should resign”
R. It will be an even more shameful and unprecedented case in the history of democracy. So far the only politicians who appear in the Pandora Papers They are two councilors of the PP of Badalona and he says very little about his party that they try to protect him. We continue to trust that out of shame and dignity of the city, he will resign.
P.Has the PSC set a waiting period to promote a motion of no confidence?
R. The social pressure in the city is very great and the citizens are very ashamed of the media circus in which they live in recent years because of the mayor. It is clear that we must open a new time for the city to dignify itself and rise with a project for the future and the PSC will be up to it at such a critical moment.
P. Is it a decision that will be made by the PSC as a party or by the municipal group of Badalona?
R. We are active in the PSC, in an organization that respects local autonomy and as Salvador Illa said this week, the decision will be made in Badalona.
P. Is there any kind of suspicion or prevention among socialists of having to make a pact with Guanyem, after the disagreements they have had in the past on account of the do you process?
R. We are not in the moment of political tacticism, nor of chair games, nor of taking off yourself to put me on. I repeat that citizens feel ashamed because their mayor has been involved in the creation of a offshore not to pay taxes in our country and that he has also lied to the public with his excuses as a bad payer. You have to act calmly enough and thinking about the city.
P. Calm means no deadlines?
“We believe that the situation cannot last much longer”
R. We believe that the situation cannot last much longer.
P. Would the PSC support the accounts presented by the mayor?
R. Since 2020 it has not submitted any budget. The last ones, of 2019, were ours. Since Albiol is mayor, we have reached agreements for the good of the city, such as the investment budget of 80 million euros. The Albiol government has been resigned de facto, for a long time. It has not presented a regular budget for 2020, nor for 21. It has not been negotiated, it has not even presented accounts. The garbage contract has expired, we have one of the worst crime rates in the metropolitan area. This last week, the mayor called off an extraordinary plenary session for a budget modification for the productivity pay of municipal workers. He canceled it, just like the whole agenda.
P. The mayor reappeared on a walk through Montigalà on Friday …
R. Yes, but without summoning the media. I understand that not all were congratulations.