The contentious-administrative chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country (TSJPV) has partially upheld a Vox appeal and has ordered the protection of the Army barracks in Loiola, Donostia, an area that, after a demolition that was already planned, was going to be released and in which the City Council had already planned the construction of between 1,600 and 2,000 new homes. It was one of the capital’s strategic urban operations, which also includes the short-term demolition of the Martutene prison once the works on the new Zubieta prison are completed. The mayor, Eneko Goia, will assess the events this Thursday.
They collect signatures against the project of a new military barracks in Donostia
The sentence, according to the Efe Agency, estimates that the barracks “meet the criteria established in the Special Plan for the Protection of Built Urban Heritage to be protected.” The court relies on reports prepared by the Basque Government and the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council which, on the one hand, listed the barracks among the historical architectural heritage and, on the other, highlighted their cultural value. The ruling maintains that these reports cannot be ignored – from “two administrations outside the present procedure and whose technicians are endowed with objectivity” – and resolves to grant them a grade IV protection, lower than that requested by Vox.
In November 2020, within the framework of the PNV’s budget negotiation with the Government of Pedro Sánchez, the ‘jeltzales’ started the transfer to Donostia of the barracks that the Army has in the Donostia area of Loiola. Since last year, and after the change in the position of the central government —which until then, through the Ministry of Defense, had defended that they were useful for the Armed Forces—, they are already municipally owned. The city had been demanding them insistently with the aim of dedicating them to relieving urban pressure in Donostia, which has a very limited supply and whose housing is the most expensive in all of Spain.
The right strongly criticized the agreement. For the PP, which was still led by Pablo Casado, the movement meant little less than “remove the Army from the Basque Country”. Vox, however, went further. Macarena Olona came to call Sánchez a “traitor”. “Do you know how many years we have resisted so that the Army was not expelled? Until today”, she complained then. In Euskadi, the only Vox parliamentarian —who has no representation in the city—, Amaia Martínez Grisaleña, called Sánchez’s agreement a “cession to nationalism”. “It is one more movement of that sanchismo that has us accustomed to giving up absolutely everything in order to remain in power,” she criticized, according to Europa Press at the time. In addition, she presented the appeal to the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country, which has now been resolved.