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“Barcelona must be more open to business”, by Marcia Bardauil

“Barcelona must be more open to business”, by Marcia Bardauil

Marcia Bardauil is 32 and unmarried. She has no children. Born in Buenos Aires and of Italian descent, she moved to Barcelona some four and a half years ago. Marcia heads up the Market Insights department at Quadpack, one of the top 10 European cosmetics packaging companies.

Why did you choose Barcelona?

I moved to Barcelona because there are more job opportunities in Europe; the cosmetics market is much more interesting here. I am an Italian citizen and I have family here, which made it much easier to settle in. I had always dreamed of living near the sea, but I thought Barcelona was just going to be my starting point. In the end, it became impossible for me to leave.

What do you like most about the city?

Lots of things. I remember that I was originally struck by listening to all kinds of languages while walking down the street. It is an extremely cosmopolitan city with people from all around the world and this is really noticeable when you walk around the city.

Another thing that fascinates me is the healthy lifestyle. One feels motivated do sport here, and since both my partner and I are very active, we enjoy the fact that there are so many places to go running, do yoga, go climbing, or do high intensity training, etc.  And it’s all outdoors, since it never gets really cold. There are also mountains for skiing nearby. The nearest ski resort to Buenos Aires is 1200kms away.

Lastly, I think that it is possible to achieve a great work-life balance here, and that means a high quality of life.

What aspects of the city need to be improved? How?

I would like people who live in Barcelona to love the city as much as I do and not throw rubbish everywhere.  I hate having to avoid all the bottles on the beach. And it’s just as bad in the parks and on the streets. Public spaces look awful at the end of the weekend, not to mention after important holidays such as Sant John’s Eve. I don’t really understand why Barcelona is worse than other cities in Spain and the rest of Europe.

I would also like Barcelona to be more open business and to attract even more investment in new companies, The potential of this city is enormous, so I would love to see even more startups receive funding so they can grow rapidly.

I should add that I also found it very difficult to find my first apartment to rent. It is difficult to find decent prices in good areas.

What do you think will help the city get over the crisis caused by Covid?

Barcelona’s creativity will be extremely valuable. People will have to be creative to solve new and unfamiliar problems. Healthcare is also a strength. Medical experts at IMO Grupo Miranza recently gave a presentation to members of the Barcelona Global’s “Barcelona 2043” group; I was amazed by the devotion and professionalism of the doctors who dedicate their lives to the health sector.  There are always things that can be improved but it is wonderful to know that everyone living in Barcelona can count on high quality healthcare that is free at the point of delivery.

What challenges is the city facing now that the health emergency has subsided?

I believe that we must somehow attract talent again by offering salaries that are competitive at a European level. This would motivate people to stay. There should be a focus on providing opportunities for graduates of medical, design and business schools, while administrative procedures to obtain citizenship or residence should be streamlined. It has taken me a year to validate my degree, for example. That’s far too long. Tax breaks also be offered to investors to enable Barcelona to compete with other cities.

What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?

I would like it to be a more open, more sustainable, and cleaner city.  I would also like it to attract tourists who respect the city more.

Where do you feel most at home? What do you miss the most?

I think it’s obvious how much I love this city. The person who I want to share my life with is Catalan, and we both have every intention of living in Barcelona for a long time.

What I miss most are my friends, although fortunately, I have had a lot of visits. I have been able to travel too. I’m lucky that my mother, my brother and one of my best friends have moved here (which might have been something to do with my enthusiasm for the city!). And I would like everyone to have the same experience as I have had here: the opportunity to live in peace, to forge strong friendships, and to grow professionally. And the feeling that I have a voice, that I matter as a person, and that my rights are respected.     These are usually taken for granted here, but this is not always the case in Argentina.

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El Periódico

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