Fire in Santa Coloma with three dead. Shortly before, a person had been electrocuted on the same farm. Another chronicle of an event foretold. The headline lasts two days in the newspapers and we will only remember a few words: intentional, fights, migrants, squatters. gasoline for racism. In the first instance it is only about people who do not know how to live together, but with that reading it is not enough. Why are fires repeated in certain streets, neighborhoods or premises? A text without context is a pretext. Behind these events there is always a context and public policies. Or the lack of them.

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Idescat published the latest data from its Territorial Socioeconomic Index a month ago. Unlike gross national products and average incomes, this index radiographs the country almost street by street. It divides it into 853 relatively small census groups, crossing data on the employment status of its inhabitants, the educational level, and the immigration and income rates. The rich islands are mostly concentrated in the metropolitan area and the poor ones are spread throughout the country, except for the Alt Pirineu and Aran. In Barcelona there are 24 of the 37 richest census groups in the country. In Sant Cugat, 7. The rich ghetto of the country is perfectly located (Tres Torres), but it is also very clear which cities concentrate the most poor areas: l’Hospitalet, Santa Coloma, Badalona and Barcelona. Santa Coloma not only accumulates poor census groups, but also has some of the poorest of the poor.

The Idescat data is pre-pandemic, that is, today it will be worse. Fires in poor neighborhoods are like flares on the high seas: a clear sign of shipwreck. One year after the municipal elections, when all the parties prepare their strategies, it is necessary to remember that poverty and the poorest do not vote, but inequality does, and that the extreme right moves very well there: for something ‘triumphed’ in Sarrià – Sant Gervasi and in Nou Barris alike.

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