The reluctance of the Generalitat and the discrepancies between ERC and JxCAT forced the Minister of Transport on Wednesday, Rachel Sanchez, to announce the enlargement freeze from El Prat airport. The project involved an investment of 1.7 billion euros and included the extension of rail connections to the area.
Despite its frostbite, Pere Aragonès he has resisted giving up the project for lost. His position can only be described as schizophrenic. His party, ERC, has always opposed the project and he himself has criticized it without measure for the impact that the work will have on the neighboring lagoon of La Ricarda.
Aragonès, however, has described the braking of “blackmail” and has asked for more time. The Government and AENA, as EL ESPAÑOL reports today, have been very clear: either the initial project is resumed or the matter will not be discussed again for another five years.
But five years is a very long period of time and the implications for the economic interests of the Catalans will be enormous. Because Catalonia is a region punished by process and that does not suit him, after driving away thousands of companies by 1-O, to destroy a fundamental project for your economy. Even though El Prat has no signs of ever becoming that hub with which nationalism dreams.
The failure of the agreement also exposes the internal divisions that live both the central government (with Podemos against the project) and the regional one. It is also about the breaking of the first and only great pact sealed between Madrid and Barcelona since the meeting of Pedro Sanchez and Pere Aragonès in June. In addition, on the eve of two strategic events on the Generalitat’s agenda. La Diada, this Sunday, and the negotiation table, scheduled for September 17 or 18.
The Minister of Transport (and former mayor of Gavà) has affirmed that the “too weak” position of the Generalitat regarding the enlargement made its future impossible, that it requires “clear support” and a “mature decision” to justify this “great investment “.
Support sharp that neither the regional president has shown, much less those of his advisers who have confirmed their presence in the demonstration next Sunday 19 in which they will protest against the expansion of the airport.
The demonstration also has the applause of the vice president Yolanda Diaz after his alignment with the mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau. Díaz’s rejection has not occurred only with words, but also with a visit to Ricarda where he has emotionally appealed to his colleagues in the Council of Ministers: “If they see and touch this space they may change their mind.”
To anger, in addition, and in case there were missing elements for the mess, from JxCAT. The regional vice president Jordi Puigneró, an essential part of the negotiations, he has said he understands (as the Catalan employers’ association also understands) that with the rejection of the project, a historic opportunity for Catalonia is thrown down the drain.
Although the frictions within Moncloa and the Generalitat are visible to anyone, they seem even more evident and bellicose between ERC and Junts, with raised reproaches that hinder the governance of Catalonia.
It is true, as Puigneró maintains, that Aragonès commits a “frivolity” by prioritizing the flora and fauna of the small lagoon over an investment that will attract millions of euros to the autonomous community. But turning politics into a cage of crickets does citizens a disservice and it shows that not even 1.7 billion euros are capable of erasing so many years of division, immaturity, sectarianism and populism.