Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, speaking from city hall, told a group of foreign journalists that the current EU migratory policy is “suicide”, and called the migrant crisis “a political crisis of the EU and of democracy”.
Colau, who has been mayor in Barcelona since 2015, said the situation “is weakening Europe”.
“Perhaps we should remember that the EU was founded after the Second World War, to not repeat the mistakes and horrors of that war, with fundamental respect for human rights,” she said.
“But now, the management of migrants is contradicting that.
What’s more, Europe is the one that receives fewer migrants in the world compared to other continents like Asia, and this isn’t said enough. Just as it is necessary to debunk the common view that considers migrants our competitors. In reality, they are an added value, and Riace is an example for all. What was done in that Calabrian town is a success story, and that’s exactly why your minister Salvini doesn’t like it,” she said.
Colau said resources must be invested to better manage migrant flows.
“It’s good to get it in your head that migrant flows won’t stop. When a woman with a baby decides to risk her life at sea, getting on a boat without any guarantee of arriving alive, it’s because she has no alternatives. They’ve accused us of being do-gooders because we’re in favor of reception, [Barcelona was the one to resolve the stall over the Open Arms last year, welcoming 60 migrants after Italy and Malta refused – Ed.] but we’re just pragmatic. If the EU wants to survive to the future, it has to establish responsibilities,” she said.
On the question of Catalonia, Colau said she’s not in favor of independence, but said the region “has the right to decide in a democratic manner, and it is legitimate to proceed with the choice of the referendum”.
“There needs to be a political solution, not through the courts. I’m convinced the right way to resolve the crisis is another referendum, because, let’s remember, the previous one wasn’t binding and the result cannot be considered democratic.
There needs to be a new consultation in which the two parties, Madrid and Barcelona, find an agreement,” she said.
She said one solution could be a confederation of states.