Tuesday, May 17

Shacks in the urban Formula 1 circuit of Valencia: this is how Camps’s star project that cost 89 million has ended

The single-seaters circulated at full speed through the urban circuit, the penthouses and balconies of the nearby houses were rented at exorbitant prices and the yachts docked in the inner dock of the Port of València to watch the races.

Francisco Camps, the former president who does politics from the legal body that advises the Generalitat Valenciana

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With Valencia on the crest of the media wave after the America’s Cup, Formula 1 was the star project with which Francisco Camps participated in the May 2007 elections. Not surprisingly, the Grand Prix and the urban circuit were presented 17 days before the elections, also with the presence of Rita Barberá, in an act in which the magnate Bernie Ecclestone announced that there would only be Formula 1 in Valencia if the former popular president won at the polls.

Both Camps and Barberá won with large majorities, with which their dream began to take shape, to see the single-seaters roll alongside luxury yachts in the port of Valencia, in the image and likeness of Monaco. In this way, with the races just over a year away (the first took place in August 2008), the route was built against all odds, skipping all the administrative procedures, passing over the neighbors of Nazareth and with the economic crisis breaking in force.

While harsh cuts in public services were approved, Camps and Barberá walked aboard a convertible Ferrari in the presentation of the Italian team at the Cheste circuit in one of the images that surely did the most damage to the PP, then besieged by cases corruption such as Gürtel or Nóos.

In fact, Camps is still charged in the case investigating the condition of guarantor of the Generalitat Valenciana to the Valmor company, created to organize the Formula 1 Grand Prix, although last October the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office requested the file. In addition, it is processed in the piece of Gürtel de Fitur.

Now, nine years after the last Grand Prix of Europe, the public coffers of the Generalitat Valenciana continue to pay the bill for the event that according to Camps was going to be “at zero cost”. As reported by elDiario.es, recently the Department of Housing paid 7.5 million euros corresponding to a loan of 60 million that was requested in its day to cover the construction costs of the route.

The loan began to be paid in 2016 and has a validity of eight years at a rate of 7.5 million per year, for which there are 15 million euros to be paid corresponding to the years 2022 and 2023.

The circuit, however, had a total cost of 89.7 million euros. But not only the construction of the route supposed expense for the public coffers. The total cost of organizing the Grand Prix between 2008 and 2012 amounted to 308 million euros between the circuit (89.7 million), the purchase of the company Valmor and the canon (115 million) or the retransmission of Channel 9 (26 million euros), among other items.

A millionaire expense that, far from helping to revitalize the area of ​​Natzaret and El Grau, has aggravated its degradation due to the paralysis that it has meant for the development of the Integrated Action Program (PAI) of El Grau.

As elDiario.es has verified in situ, the urban circuit has been taken over by a shanty town. According to Vicent Martínez, vice president of the Grau-Port neighborhood association and spokesperson for the Plataforma Litoral per al Poble, “the first shacks began to appear about three years ago and since then the settlement has not stopped growing.”

However, he says: “The reality is that they do not cause any discomfort but they do not seem the most dignified conditions for these people. Social services should offer them some solution.”

As for the circuit, he explains that what they are requesting is “a project to be given provisional public use until the El Grau PAI is developed, since it currently represents a huge urban barrier between this neighborhood and Natzaret.”

In addition, it requires that it be kept in minimum hygienic-sanitary conditions: “Last year 50 trucks came to take away garbage and debris and now there are again areas where they come to dump all kinds of waste.”

The circuit is still fenced, although there is an open part that is accessed from Calle del Poeta San Martín that leads to the cemetery and through that area the people who live in the settlement enter and leave. According to Martínez, even vehicles enter to do driving practice and also skaters who have come to do races.

“They should make a pedestrian axis that connects the new area that they are finishing of the PAI of the Camí Fondo with the Cuc de Llum to connect it quickly with the Natzaret neighborhood, since now it is necessary to make a tremendous detour to the entire circuit to to be able to cross, “explains Martínez, who recalls the neighborhood’s claim regarding the PAI of El Grau:” The green area of ​​the riverbed must follow the same width as the part of the City of Sciences.

The development of El Grau remains stuck due to the difficulties in developing the agreement signed by the Consistory, led then by Rita Barberá, with the Generalitat, which was then chaired by Camps itself, to finance the circuit works.

By virtue of this agreement, the regional administration advanced 45 million euros to achieve the route as it passes through El Grau, which would later be returned by the Consistory through some type of tax to be passed on to the owners of the land, since, in reality , that part of the asphalt would be converted into the streets of the future urbanization of the PAI of El Grau.

However, this solution raises many legal problems. The City Council is working on a study to determine how much the charges attributable to the owners could amount, but it has already hinted that it will be very difficult to recover all of the 45 million, so the difference will have to be assumed by the administration.