#BARCELONA #15M Newsletter nr 22

Hello from Barcelona,

this  is the weekly newsletter that will inform you about the activities of  15M movement in Barcelona, Catalonia and occasionally the main events in  Spain. If you do not wish to receive it anymore, please say so.

1. Debate with Syriza’s Stavros Karagkounis ends with even more questions
2. Back to Plaza Catalunya with a yummy open-space
3. Another right at risk: water


On July 9th, proposals from the Greek party Syriza were presented in Barcelona’s Ateneu RoigStavros Karagkounis, a member of the international area of the second largest party in the latest Greek elections, initiated a debate with the audience from the very beginning.

Although photocopies had been distributed with the 40 points of Syriza’s program, the public began by asking which are the solutions that politics can bring to the people.
The representative of Syriza mentioned the work with the popular assemblies in Greece, he referred to the program as an unfinished text which citizens would be completing as new events occur.

The questions were developing into details: What to do once Syriza are part of a hierarchical structure such as a parliament?, Where to include the disadvantaged people?, What to do with the euro?, among others.

Responses were usually adjusting to the 40 points program. The Syriza representative was defending a united Europe where the euro capitalization serves as social solution and not just financial. When questioned about social integration of disadvantaged citizens, he proposed to continue with the dialogue with the popular assemblies to keep writing the party’s program.

He did not answer how to function within a hierarchical political structure. But he clearified that within some years Syriza will be at the top of Greek politics and the party’s goal is not only to govern the Greek, but to offer alternatives to a united Europe by common social objectives.

At the end of the intervention Karagkounis congratulated the audience with a revealing sentence “I love how well informed you are here”.




The Kitchen comitee organized on June 14th a popular lunch at Catalunya square.

Their aim is to organize one every month, to create a meeting point where different sensibilities and opinions can be held together in order to exchange ideas and informations and to facilitate the coordination. That is why a transversal assembly was organized after the lunch.

The assembly was carried out through the open space methodology, a very open and inclusive system which consists in having a first meeting where whoever is interested in talking about one subject, makes a proposal. Then, a division into several spaces is created and the people join the proposal they are most interested in. Every debate manages itself as usual: one person to take the minuts, one moderator and the rest of the roles they are in need of.

Only 4 principles are accepted:

  • The persons who attend the debate are the correct ones
  • What we are having here is the only thing we could have
  • The open space starts at the right moment
  • When it is over, it is over

And only one law: The two feet

  • If during our time together you feel you are not learning or contributing, use your two feet and move to another space where you feel you do

This methodology tries to create synergies by making sure everyone is confortable and is interested in the debate that is happening. People who are moving from space to space are also very important because they bring the ideas from one space to the other: They are called the bumblebees.

Several subjects appeared on the square last Saturday: health actions, coordination of different fights, proposals for ew actions, and some projects as well. Some of the debates created a good synergy and some new working groups are appearing.




The Catalan Government wrote at end of May the preliminary draft to privatize the public enterprise (ATLL) that supplies water to the Barcelona metropolitan area and 9 local regions nearby (comarques). More than 5 million people live in this area. The private businness model is a profit based one: it will entail an increase in the price of the service, probably a decrease of the staff and environnemental damages.

The citizen platform Aigua és Vida (Water is Life) denounce this “bad sale”  as the value of ATLL is estimated around 1400 million euro and it is for sale at 995 million, 400 million less, in order to reduce Catalonia’s Government deficit. In Martorell (a Catalan town) the management of the water supply was privatized in 2009 and, since then, the quality of the service has got worse and last March the town’s right wing government approved a 100% increase of the price of the water, although they had promised not to increase it!

The platform has just presented a statement to ATLL asking for the immediate withdrawal of the draft, and reporting that with a 267% price increase in 50 years, the profit for the concessionary will be 1.600 million, which will not be re-invested in the service.

On the other hand there is some good news: in the small town of Bétera (next to Valencia) a strong citizens’ mobilization with the motto “l’aigua no es ven” (water is not for sale) managed to stop this kind of privatization.

The advise is to stay tuned and alert, watching all the actions that local and global Governments, not only in Spain, are taking against people’s interests and rights!



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