The 2030 Olympics will almost certainly shift from the Pyrenees

The 2030 Olympics will almost certainly shift from the Pyrenees

The 2030 Olympics will almost certainly shift from the Pyrenees

If time heals, the Olympic bid to host the 2030 Winter Games in the Pyrenees might take a few years to heal the wounds between Catalonia, Aragon and the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE). Exactly four more years. Committee sources admit that the current immobility is forcing the candidature to be reconsidered in order to “save” it in view of a possible project for the 2034 Games. Positions between administrations remain very divided and the COE fears that he will not Resources more has an agreement between the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Diputación General de Aragón (DGA) for the 2030 event. The Olympic body is still reluctant to consider the project dead while it waits for an unexpected last-minute twist.

The candidacy has been delayed for weeks. The COE postponed the visit of the technicians of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in May due to a lack of information on the location of the tests and had to apologize two weeks ago before the international President Thomas Bach with the political disputes between the Generalitat and the DGA. The wound seems to be deep because there is no communication and the allegations between Catalonia and Aragon are ongoing. The central government is monitoring the discord from afar, and President Pedro Sánchez has not publicly intervened to resolve the situation. Sánchez’s circumspection even surprised the COE, who admits between the corridors that he trusted his appearance at the scene to unblock the situation.

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The latest example of the complexity of the agreement was witnessed on Tuesday at the last meeting convened by the COE, which was attended by the usual representatives of all administrations: Felipe Faci, sports adviser to the DGA; Laura Vilagrà, Minister of the Presidium of the Generalitat; Víctor Francos, Secretary General for Culture; and the President of the COE, Alejandro Blanco. The digital meeting lasted an hour and a half and sources present in the dialogue admit that Blanco and Faci continued to discuss the words and decisions made over the past few weeks. Aragón claims that the COE has not respected the promised “equality” in the distribution of evidence and the committee is fed up with the demands of the DGA, which has once again presented a different technical alternative than that agreed by the Generalitat, the COE and the central government last April. Faced with the difficulty of reaching an agreement, people close to Blanco admit that the President of the COE is already giving the opportunity to announce the end of the candidacy. However, other sources insist that the head of state continues to exhaust all options to get out of the crisis.

For their part, Generalitat officials indicate a slight disappointment at the tone Blanco has been using in recent weeks, less restrictive about finding an alternative if the Catalan-Aragonese agreement finally collapses. “If there is no agreement, we are ready to reach 2030,” they emphasize of the Catalan executive. The sole Catalan option is particularly unpopular in Moncloa due to the political costs that backing a project backed by an independence government would entail. The “improvable” relations between the Generalitat and the government also do not seem to be helping, as the spokeswoman for the Catalan executive, Patrícia Plaja, admitted on Tuesday. “That [la situación] don’t get off the hook, it’s because Catalonia is one of the parties involved,” the spokeswoman suggested.

Political interference in particular has led the candidacy into a very worrying situation, they admit from the COE. The committee’s goal now is to “save” the candidacy for 2034. “It is important that the Pyrenees’ candidacy does not burn in the eyes of the IOC or the Spanish government,” notes a source from the committee. Sapporo (Japan), Salt Lake (USA) and Vancouver (Canada) are the top-ranked candidates for the 2030 event. The IOC plans to select the Olympic venue in the first half of 2023.

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Competence shock through the consultation

The soap opera that the 2030 Winter Olympics bid has become adds a new disagreement. The government disputes the legality of the decree approved by the Generalitat to organize the referendum that will decide whether or not the Pyrenees will host the Olympic event. The clash of the competition threatens to be the last straw in an event that walks a tightrope. A negotiation process is currently being opened between the government and the Generalitat to try to refine the text of the law. But the possibility of the decree ending up on the table of the Constitutional Court is heralded as a reality. The government defends the impeccability of the norm and regards the state’s suspicions as an “attack” on the autonomous powers. This was announced by the spokeswoman for the Catalan executive, Patrícia Plaja, on Tuesday. “The problem is not legality, because it has everything. The problem is the nervousness that arises in Madrid every time it comes to consulting with the Catalans,” said the spokeswoman. Despite the external reproach from the Catalan executive, both administrations are given a period of dialogue to adapt the norm. This break could be extended to “eight months,” said Plaja.

President Pere Aragonès signed the decree promoting mandatory consultation on the candidacy for the 2030 Winter Olympics in early April. July 24 has been set as the date for voting in the Pyrenean districts and also reserved on the same date to give opinion on the event to be obtained from those registered in Solsonès, Berguedà and Ripollès.

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