Catalan-Aragonese candidacy to host the 2030 Winter Olympics is like a roller coaster. The government of Aragon rejected through a statement last night that there was an agreement for the delivery of the technical project and tests, despite the fact that the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) reached an agreement in the afternoon. , The disagreement remains three days ahead of a deadline set by the CoE, which was set on Monday to communicate the technical view of the Olympic initiative.
At the end of the last meeting of the Technical Commission made up of representatives of the CoE, regional governments and the central government, Catalan representatives and the National Committee left with the belief that Aragon had agreed with the final delivery: hockey would be held in Barcelona; Curling, in Jacka; and speed and figure skating tests in Zaragoza. The rest of the disciplines had already been distributed: the slopes of La Molina and Masela would host alpine skiing; bakira, snowboard and freestyle; and Aragonese facilities, cross-country skiing.
In any case, Aragon denied a settlement this Friday afternoon via an emphatic statement: “There is no guarantee that candidacy will be picked up on equal terms. Aragon will not approve unless all aspects of the candidature are clear. The distrust of all the other interlocutors is complete”. The CoE, Generalitat and the Government of Aragon will negotiate the details of the agreement later this week which was to be presented on Monday.
The latest disagreement adds to the mistrust between the two autonomous governments shown over the past few months, a year after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided the venue. An authorized COE voice points to “two tsunamis” threatening the Pyrenees project. First, the continuing disagreement between Catalonia and Aragon: Aragonese President, Javier Lamban, always claims “50%” candidacy, while director Pere Aragonese offered “collaboration.” The president of PSOE has already threatened to break his candidature twice. The President of the CoE, Alejandro Blanco, assured this Friday in an act from the PSC Environment in Barcelona of the Campalance Foundation that “we have overcome the difficulties and when we act, next week, this candidacy will be invincible”. Hours later, the resistance reappeared after harsh communication from Aragon.
The second major threat, they point to from the CoE, is the enduring mistrust between Esquera and the Juntas, who are partners in the Generalitat of Catalonia. The two independence parties are working on a popular referendum to support the project, but they still cannot agree on which areas they will be able to vote in, or what questions they will answer. The ERC assured that the question regarding the Games would be “clear”, while the Junts proposed the inclusion of the Olympic project in a proposal to develop the area. The IOC has already expressed its discomfort in a consultation that specifically sought support for the Games as it fears a negative outcome will damage its international image. Some candidates have already fallen in cities with Olympic tradition (in Zion, Switzerland; Innsbruck, Austria; in Calgary, Canada) after losing a vote in recent years and the international committee prefers to avoid that risk. . Groups opposing the Olympic event denounce the environmental impact of the Games and its economic cost, which according to the organizers will reach 1,400 million euros. Previous versions cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,000.
The vice president of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisach, had already assured in EL PAÍS that “everything is voted on in the referendum except what is asked.” Samaranch Jr., who seems like a possible successor to Thomas Bach’s presidency of the IOC, appears favorable to the candidacy’s prospects. His fictional presidency allowed him to inaugurate the Games in 2030, as his father did in Barcelona in 1992.
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The project was born in Barcelona in 2010, but it was not until 2018 that it received a definite boost in Catalonia with the technical support of the IOC. The Catalan proposal met the new requirements of the international committee, much more prevalent than a decade or two earlier. No new infrastructure or construction for two weeks. The IOC’s difficulties in finding cities interested in hosting the Games, whether summer or winter, forced the organization to rethink its course. “We want sustainable sports that help develop a region, not vice versa,” a senior committee official insisted. “If someone wants to build a new track just for the Games, we’re not interested anymore.” This is why the IOC has agreed to conduct tests in other areas with larger infrastructure already built in facilities. The technical commission of the COE, in conjunction with the IOC, studies where ice tube tests (luge, bobsey and skeleton) and jumps will be conducted, whose facilities are, the most expensive, the most complex to maintain and the least usable. Future, they will not make for a sustainable budget. The COE studies relocating them to Sarajevo (Bosnia), France or Italy.
The IOC acknowledged that Spain’s candidacy was good. The story of unity through sports is very popular in the committee. As well as the possibility of placing the Pyrenees on the international map. Vancouver (Canada) is currently the main rival of Barcelona-Zaragoza-Pyrenees (the name is not finalized yet). Salt Lake City (United States) has already announced to the IOC that it has refused to present itself for 2030 and has limited the recent celebration of the Sapporo (Japan) Tokyo 2020 Games, marked by the pandemic. and has been marked by discrepancies between the International Committee and. The Japanese government… Ukraine, for its part, is the only region that made official its interest for the 2030 appointment, but the current armed conflict inhibits its progress.
The central government, which sponsors the Pyrenean link between Aragon and Catalonia, also supports the candidacy of Spain and Portugal for the 2030 World Cup, but does not believe that achieving both events is impossible, something that previously never seen. Nor does it believe that society will shout to heaven on the eve of the economic crisis arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the expenses they will have to pay. “They will be two very permanent candidates with very little expense. All the facilities are already practically standing, and the infrastructure. We have more to gain than we lose”, say sources close to the government.