Barcelona, June 17 — On Saturday, Barcelona’s municipal council picked a new Socialist mayor after a pact between two opposed parties, giving Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez a last-minute boost.
The conservative People’s Party and the far-left Barcelona en Comu of outgoing mayor Ada Colau endorsed Socialist candidate Jaume Collboni, who was elected mayor of Spain’s second city.
After generally bad local election results on May 28, the decision boosted the Socialist Party, which dominates the national government.
Sanchez moved a December national vote to July 23 after the local results and heavy losses in regions conducting elections the same day.
Xavier Trias, 76, of Junts per Catalunya, was the frontrunner to become mayor until the last-minute agreement.
“The decision has been made to avoid a Junts government that extends red carpets to lobbies and sectors favorable to right-wing policies,” Barcelona en Comu remarked.
Collboni succeeds Colau, who limited hotel openings to reduce mass tourism and established ambitious social housing goals throughout her eight years.
Barcelona’s political change hurts Catalonia’s pro-independence movement, which has waned in recent years.