Sunday, 5 April 2009

Will a Female Mayor Make Vilanova the Town of Our Dreams?

Two years remain before the next municipal elections in Catalonia, but last Monday Convergència i Unió (CiU) started campaigning and the two parties of the federation, CDC and UDC, seem impressively united in their commitment to see Neus Lloveras replacing Joan Ignaci Elena (PSC) as the mayor of Vilanova i la Geltrú.

Those who claim that politicians are a class of their own, will have a problem with Neus Lloveras. As late as seven years ago, the long-time CDC leader of Vilanova, Esteve Orriols, persuaded her to enter into the world of local politics, and still today does she have a professional career as the finance director of a private company.

Neus Lloveras understands - possibly even still can apply - an outsider’s perspective on this town. She was born here, but her father - a son of a fisherman – broke with family traditions and became a professional opera singer. For that reason, during Lloveras’ childhood the family moved around a lot in Europe and Vilanova became the amazing town of her summer holidays.

So, when I hear Lloveras describe Vilanova I rapidly get a feeling of a dream town: a proud Mediterranean coastal town where the inhabitants can find jobs in local industry. She contrasts that with the visions of the ruling local tripartit coalition, which seem to be to make Vilanova yet another suburb of the metropolitan area of Barcelona.

As Lloveras points out, this town has several underdeveloped assets; we have a branch of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and, above all, nice beaches and a quite well-established harbour. Ongoing projects to develop the local marina, while at the same time promote the port of goods and material and maintain the fishing port, are steps in the right direction, in my eyes. And I agree with Lloveras that Vilanova should focus on sports and family oriented tourism, since that is where we have the greatest chances to improve our ranking and, by doing so, create job opportunities.

I am not sure whether it was Neus Lloveras herself or the presence of the CDC president Artur Mas which attracted sll people but the main hall of the Foment Vilanoví filled up in spite of the pouring rain. That is a promising sign for CiU for the future, although I must admit that I, now 38 years old, clearly belonged to the younger half of the audience.

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CAT: La meva primera reacció durant les presentacions dels representants de CiU al Foment, va ser que no tenia jo dificultats per entendre’ls. És totalment lògic, ja que sobre tot estic aprenent el català a través de la radio Catalunya Informació i la televisió de 3/24, on solen dominar els temes politics.

Els primers problemes vaig tenir a la fi quan l'Artur Mas va explicar-li a la Neus que el treball com a líder no era fàcil i que ell mateix tots els dies, abans d'anar-se'n al llit, havia de “menjar-se gripaus” . Un gripau, segons el meu diccionari, és un
toad en anglès. Que fàstic. Espero que sigui una dita catalana.

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Technorati tags: CiU, Convergència, PSC, Unió, Vilanova


natalia said...

"Empassar-se un gripau" is a direct translation of the Spanish "Tragarse un sapo", which means having to do or to admit or to put up with something you don't like or don't agree with. O sigui que és un fàstic, però metafòric :-)

By the way, I don't think Convergencia i Unió are going to fix any of Vilanova's problems. I wish it was so easy !!

Erik Wirdheim said...


Thanks for the help with the language. And good for Sr. Mas that he doesn't have to eat toads.

You're probably right that CiU won't be able to fix Vilanova, still I hope that they will win the coming elections. If not for other reasons so because democracy benefits from occacional changes of government.