2 may­ors sig­nal new di­rec­tion

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD -

Spain’s big­gest cities — Madrid and Barcelona — com­pleted one of the na­tion’s big­gest po­lit­i­cal up­heavals in years by swear­ing in far-left may­ors. The new lead­ers have promised to cut their own salaries, halt home­owner evic­tions and elim­i­nate perks en­joyed by the rich and fa­mous.

The land­mark changes came three weeks af­ter Spain’s two largest tra­di­tional par­ties were pun­ished in lo­cal elec­tions by vot­ers suf­fer­ing un­der aus­ter­ity mea­sures and an­gered by cor­rup­tion scan­dals.

In Madrid, re­tired judge Manuela Car­mena was sworn in to cheers from sup­port­ers who crowded the streets to mark the end of city rule by the con­ser­va­tive Popular Party, which runs the na­tional gov­ern­ment.

Car­men a pledges in­clude tak­ing on wealthy Madrilenos who en­joy ex­clu­sive use of a city-owned coun­try club, open­ing it up to the masses. “We’re cre­at­ing a new kind of pol­i­tics that doesn’t fit within the con­ven­tions,” she said. “Get ready.”

In Barcelona, anti-evic­tion ac­tivist Ada Co­lau was sworn in as the city’s first fe­male mayor. Co­lau has ques­tioned whether it’s worth spend­ing $4.5 mil­lion of city money to help host the glitzy For­mula 1 race ev­ery other year. She thinks the funds would be bet­ter spen­ton free meals for needy chil­dren at public schools.

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