UNDER the direction of Ada Colau, the trailblazing Barcelona mayor determined to challenge the influence of banks and corrupt finance on Spanish society, Barcelona has erected a large public monument to remind people of the plight of refugees.
The government revealed the digital clock on July 28 and it will count and expose the number of refugees who die while trying to cross the Mediterranean.
Prominently positioned next to a popular city beach, the digital clock sits atop a huge rectangular pillar and will count the dead, with the inscription “This isn’t just a number, these are people” hammering the point home.
“We are inaugurating this shame counter which will update all known victims who drowned in the Mediterranean in real time,” said mayor Ada Colau, who has been making waves on a national scale ever since her shock 2015 election victory.
“We’re here to look the Mediterranean in the face and look at this number – 3,034 people who drowned because they were not offered a safe passage,” referring to the number killed so far in 2016, with which the clock begins.
Several incidents this year have each seen hundreds of people killed in shipwrecks, while sunken ramshackle dinghies carrying dozens of desperate migrants make up the bulk of the deaths.
Colau and the Barcelona government have been intensively campaigning for Spain to take in more refugees and improve on startlingly low figures that have seen just a few dozen admitted over the past year.
This stands in stark contrast to countries like Germany, France and Sweden, who have admitted millions between them, but the Spanish government blames ‘procedural difficulties’ for the anaemic flow further west.