Wednesday, February 21

Aragon and Catalonia overcome tensions and close an agreement for the Winter Olympics

Catalonia and Aragon have overcome political tensions and have reached an agreement to jointly present the candidacy for the 2030 Winter Olympics in the Pyrenees. Both administrations will publicly ratify the agreement in the coming days, as has been advanced The vanguard.

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The agreement closed this Friday contemplates that, if the Olympic event is achieved, in Catalonia the mountain skiing events (in Boí Taüll), ice hockey (Palau Sant Jordi), alpine skiing, downhill and slalom (La Molina-Masella) will be held. , and ‘snow’ and ‘freestyle’ (Baqueira Beret). Aragón would stay with the modalities of biathlon and cross-country skiing, figure skating and short and long speed.

The pact puts an end to weeks of political discrepancies that put the candidacy in jeopardy. The Generalitat has relaxed its initial intention of monopolizing the majority of tests in Catalan territory and has opened to share the limelight with Aragon. Neither did the Aragonese president, Javier Lambán, who suspended a summit in January at the last minute to negotiate the candidacy.

To unite positions, the role of the Spanish Olympic Committee, chaired by Alejandro Blanco, has been key, who from the beginning made it clear that the project should be shared between both communities. “This is a Spanish project. The Olympic Games must be on an equal footing or they simply will not be ”, he defended in January after the last crisis.

“If we are able, in a moment of confusion and confrontation, to have a common idea and all work towards that idea, traveling the common path, then we have won the candidacy. From then on, whatever the time may be, the Pyrenees will have the Olympics”, Blanco assured this Thursday at a conference on the Olympics organized by the Rafael Campalans Foundation, linked to the PSC.

Closed the pact between governments, before formally presenting the candidacy to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the endorsement of the citizens of the Catalan Pyrenees remains, an essential condition of the Government to support the project. The consultation, according to the plans of the Catalan Executive, will be held the first weekend of July.

At a political level, in Catalonia the Olympic project does not raise the practical unanimity that it arouses in Aragon. Junts and the PSC have shown their unwavering support for the candidacy, which ERC has conditioned on citizen endorsement. The comuns and the CUP, in addition to a citizen platform, have been against it.

Prominent athletes such as Kilian Jornet have shown their rejection of the Games because, in their opinion, betting on that candidacy in a context of climate emergency is “serious irresponsibility”. The Pyrenean ski resorts already depend to a large extent on the artificial production of snow and warns, therefore, that they will not be viable in the medium term, warn those opposed to the project. On the other hand, the favorable ones highlight the opportunity for Pyrenean sport and modernize infrastructures.