The mayors of Spain’s cities of Madrid and Barcelona have started their official duties after sworn in Saturday. During their campaign, the far-left mayoral candidates promised they would return their own salaries, prevent people’s eviction from their homes and cut perks and bonuses to the rich families.
After pushing the ruling conservatives out of power, activists from the leftist movement of Indignados (Outraged) Former judge Manuela Carmena and anti-eviction activist turned politician Ada Colau have began their duties.
With her victory in the elections, 71 year old Manuela Carmena brought an end to the the 24 year-long old conservative Popular Party rule in Madrid. After being sworn in as the first female mayor, Manuela Carmena said "I promise to loyally respect the duties involved in being mayor of Madrid."
"Get ready. We're creating a new kind of politics that doesn't fit within the conventions,” Carmena added.
"We need to reset the priorities for a city that has had a neo-liberal attitude for 25 years, we want to take back the city for the citizens."
Incoming Madrid city councilor Pablo Carmona said that the first priority of Carmena is to open privatized city services to public usage, establish an anti-eviction commission and provide cheap nursery places for working mothers.
Manuela Carmena had worked as a labor lawyer and work-rights activists before becoming a judge in 1975.
Carmena's Indignados platform includes neighbourhood associations, environmentalist and organisations and along with Spain's new anti-austerity party, Podemos, has been working against government spending cuts and corruption.
The far-left winner in Barcelona’s mayoral elections was anti-eviction activist 41-year-old Ada Colau, is to sworn in Saturday.
Colau is known for her stand against the eviction of people from their own houses after the mortgage crisis in Spain in 2009.
Following the results, “In Barcelona a bet was made for change” said Colau.
Colau promised to stand against the inequalities in Barcelona through lowering energy prices, and bring about a 600 euro minimum monthly income.