Wednesday, May 25

Catalonia will hold two consultations on the Olympic bid for the Pyrenees on July 24

The Government will hold a day of voting on the candidacy for the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees on July 24. Finally, there will be two consultations with two different questions, each one addressed to the citizens of certain territories and only one of them will allow them to say no to the presentation of the candidacy. Specifically, the consultation that will be held in the Alt Pirineu i Aran veguería will be about the celebration of the Games, while in the Berguedà, Solsonès and Ripollès region it will be asked only about the participation of those territories, but if any of them was left out, that would not mean the end of the Winter Games bid.

This was announced this Monday by the Ministers of the Presidency, Laura Vilagrà, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Victòria Alsina, who have defended that this is the formula that guarantees greater territorial consensus and participation of the affected citizens. The Government had promised to hold a binding consultation on the candidacy for the Winter Olympic Games which, finally, has decided to stick to the specific areas where the sporting events would be held, which are spread over six counties: Alta Ribagorça, Alt Urgell, Baixa Cerdanya, Pallars Jussà, Pallars Sobirà and Vall d’Aran. In these areas the question will be: Does the Government of the Generalitat have to present a candidacy for the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games?“ and it will have a binary answer of yes or no.

On the other hand, for the other three regions that are included in the query, Berguedà, Solsonès and Ripollès, the question will be different: “Should your region get involved in the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games project?”“, also with a binary answer. For this reason, in the event that one of the territories of this second group opted for the no, the region would be left out of the candidacy, but the Games would continue. Regarding the meaning of “getting involved”, Vilagrà explained that the counties that vote favorably may have “previous training activities, modernization or complementary sports” and also cultural issues.

Regarding the technical aspects, Minister Alsina explained that the budget contemplated for both consultations is 1.1 million euros, most of which would come from the Foreign Affairs budget, which also has the powers of the electoral office. The Government will use the consultation law to do so, which was used once for the participatory process of November 9, 2014 on the independence of Catalonia. “We are using the route that seems to us to give more guarantees”, explained Alsina, who has recognized that the current law has shortcomings that should be resolved in a future new regulation of consultations.

The Government’s decision to launch the two linked consultations comes a week after the Spanish Olympic Committee validated the technical proposal for the division of disciplines and events between Catalonia, Aragon and the Ministry of Culture, which, however, the Aragon Government has unchecked. On the situation generated with the neighboring community, the Government has preferred not to refer, ensuring that the person leading the contacts is the COE, which last Friday gave the green light to the proposal agreed by the technical commissions of both territories.