The stoppage of the Barcelona Airport expansion project led to the alarm reaction of the Catalan economic world to its negative consequences for the future growth of the region, but it also has important political consequences that in turn will have repercussions on the national economy.
And it is that the decision of the Government to suspend an investment estimated at 1,700 million euros in the Barcelona aerodrome removes the possibility of ERC giving its support to the General State Budgets (PGE) of 2022, which also shakes the reception of the European recovery funds, linked to the commitments assumed before the EU by Spain, which requires Accounts in line with what was presented to Brussels within the national recovery and resilience plan. These are not minor figures, since the European money to be received next year is around 20,000 million.
The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, seems the most affected politician – and pointed out by the central Executive as responsible for the paralysis of the plans to make Barcelona an intercontinental hub – for his refusal to expand El Prat if it is at the cost of invading the protected natural area of La Ricarda, but as far as political strategy is concerned, it may be the most benefited.
With the macroinvestment of El Prat suspended, the Government is left without its flag of commitment to Catalonia and rectification of the investment deficit in infrastructure, so ERC will increase the pressure to obtain concessions in exchange for its support to the PGE, and will be able to return to focus the focus on the political dialogue table, on which Aragonès stated that it is even more necessary and that there is no need to “mix folders”, although the date, members or content of the meeting that should not be specified has yet been specified. take place next week.
Likewise, Aragonès will have less pressure from sovereignty to carry out the Catalan Budgets, since the CUP was totally against the expansion of El Prat. However, differences persist with his government partner Junts, who is suspicious of both the dialogue table and the strategy to be followed in the Cortes.
Regarding the economic consequences of the airport expansion being left in a drawer, Catalan businessmen raised their voices to demand political responsibility from the State and Generalitat to reactivate the negotiation and agree on a solution that makes economic growth compatible with the preservation of the environment , without putting it as an excuse.
The president of Foment del Treball, Josep Sánchez Llibre, described as irresponsibility on the part of the Generalitat to have questioned a project of such magnitude due to internal discrepancies, that he also reproached the central government, with the second vice president and Minister of Labor and Economy Social, Yolanda Díaz, celebrating this Thursday from a visit to La Ricarda the stoppage of the El Prat expansion.
The president of Pimec, Antoni Cañete, called on finding solutions because “investment possibilities are at stake and the loss of opportunities for Catalonia”, conditioning the future in the medium and long term. “We will continue playing football but in another division,” he compared.
The hoteliers of Barcelona also issued a statement in which their president, Jordi Clos, demanded “maximum responsibility from the administrations” for this expansion project to go ahead. If they do not do so, they will weigh down “the attraction of valuable assets that depend on having an airport hub that guarantees first-rate international connectivity.”
The Catalan Association of Family Retail Business, Comertia, demanded the Catalan Government “capacity for reflection and unequivocal will” on a “priority and strategic” project, and the CCOO union of Catalonia showed its concern about “the partisan use that is being doing the project on both sides “.
Junts press ERC to withdraw support for the Government
The general secretary of Junts, Jordi Sànchez, revealed this Thursday that they have requested a meeting with the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to address the situation created after the Government has paralyzed investment to expand the Barcelona-El Prat Airport , and ask if the independentistas should provide “stability” in Congress.
“When a government breaks an investment of 1,700 million it is not justified that we can continue talking about the need to give support to stability to the Government to avoid other governments much more harmful to the interests of Catalonia,” he said. In this sense, he called to take advantage of the strength of the independentists in Congress, where they have 23 seats, and propose “a joint and coordinated action” on issues such as the negotiation of the General State Budgets (PGE), among others, reported ‘Europa Press’.
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