|[Colau with her counterparts from Madrid, Zaragoza and Valencia at the Vatican. Photo: EFE.]|
"The mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, yesterday [restated] the role that cities can play in the reception of refugees in contrast with the “disastrous handling” so far of the states and the international community in the face of the crisis.
Colau made these claims at the Vatican during her speech at the international summit ‘Europe: refugees are our brothers and sisters' where she was participating with seventy European mayors including those of Madrid, Manuela Carmena; Valencia, Joan Ribó; Zaragoza, Pedro Santisteve, and Malaga, Francisco de la Torre.
The summit opened yesterday but today Colau and other municipal leaders will be received by Pope Francis, who has also been critical of the management of the refugee crisis. Colau appreciated the role taken by the Pope in the issue and denied the existence of any contradictions in being a representative of a lay and non-confessional institution agreeing with the words of the Pope.
For Colau, the meeting is focused “on human rights and democracy,” and asked the other municipal representatives to join forces to combat “the growth of neo-fascism” on the European continent as is represented by the presidential candidate in France, Marine Le Pen.
Warning that the European Union is at a crossroads where it must decide to aid refugees or support the far right, she called for safer means of access to prevent deaths when refugees are forced to flee their countries. Colau demanded more resources and authority for the cities to welcome refugees, grant work permits and allow them to pay taxes “like other citizens.”
“At stake is our civilisation and heritage. The EU was born to say no more to the horrors generated by wars, violence and dehumanisation,” the mayoress concluded."
Source: Catalonia Today.