In other times the mayor of L’Hospitalet, Núria Marín, could have seriously aspired to the presidency of the Generalitat. Following in the footsteps of famous Catalan socialists such as Carme Chacón or José Montilla (exediles from Esplugues and Cornellà, both fiefdoms of the PSC’s ‘red belt’), he could also have fantasized about an armchair next to Pedro Sanchez in the Council of Ministers. However, the decision of the police to cite her as being investigated in a case of alleged diversion of subsidies in the City Council of her city clouds the aspirations of a woman who in recent years has amassed a notable influence in Catalonia, especially after being elected president of the powerful Diputación de Barcelona thanks to the votes of Junts.
Núria Marín Martínez (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, 1963) is in charge of the second largest city in Catalonia since 2008. Furthermore, it can boast of having one of the loosest and most stable majorities in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, treasuring 14 of its 27 councilors. Likewise, ‘the mayoress of the PSC’, as recently defined by the minister Salvador Illa, faces a changing and fragmented opposition, which has been led by Esquerra, Ciudadanos and the PP throughout their last terms. The power of Marín, and his ability to lead the vote of his neighbors, was especially evident in the municipal elections held in May 2019 coinciding with the elections to the European Parliament. On that occasion, the socialist leader managed to get 5,900 citizens who opted for other options in the ballot box of Europeans to opt for their ballot when voting for mayor. Few leaders of the PSC today have this attractiveness.
In politics since 1995
Marín responds to the archetype of ‘political animal’ forged in the youths and in the municipal factory of the PSC, a party that, in its best moments, managed to concentrate the mayors of the four provincial capitals of Catalonia, as well as the presidency of the Generalitat and of several councils. How Miquel Iceta, the mayor has developed a long career almost entirely in the ins and outs of political life.
With studies in business sciences, she started working as a civil servant in the L’Hospitalet City Council in 1985. Since 1995 she has been a councilor and already in her first stage in the consistory, she managed to gain control of the Treasury area. His meteoric career on the mayor’s team Celestino Corbacho – Zapatero’s former minister and today close to Ciudadanos – continued its upward curve in 1999, when she was appointed first deputy mayor with responsibility for the Economy and Finance Area. Finally, in April 2008, Marín obtained the baton of command and has been re-elected in 2011 and 2015 with results that have established her city as one of the strongest places in a PSC in low hours due to the polarization of the process, the hatching of the purple candidacies of the ‘commons’ and the municipal rise of Ciudadanos.
Two months from 14-F
Parallel to her consolidation as mayor, Marín has developed a solid career in other institutions such as the Provincial Council or the influential Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. He has also been a member of organizations such as the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, among others. Despite her incessant accumulation of positions, the mayor has not accompanied her promotion with an ambitious strategy to make her figure visible and become known at the state level. This will benefit the PSOE, which has reduced its exposure to a new case of alleged corruption in one of its fiefdoms. Just the opposite that happens with the PSC, which has pulled Marín to fill rallies and breathe morale to a party thirsty for victories at the end of the golden years of Maragall, Montilla and Chacón, and that he sees how a scandal could seriously damage the imminent Catalan campaign of 14-F, in which the Catalan socialists had not a few hopes.