Aragonès turns the referendum on the 2030 Olympics into a bobbin lace between ERC and Junts
The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, has signed this Monday the decree promoting the call for the consultation of the 2030 Winter Olympics. Finally, the Government will organize two different consultations to decide on the Olympic candidacy. The first, binding, will be raised in the Pyrenean counties directly affected by the sporting events, that is, in the High Pyrenees and Aran. The census is made up of some 55,000 people. This area is home to the ski resorts of La Molina and Baqueira Beret, included as possible sports venues in the pre-candidacy agreed between the COE, the central government and the Catalan government, pending ratification by Aragon.
In this area, the question will be binary: “Should the Government present a candidacy for the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?”. Those over 16 years of age can vote. The vote will be on May 24. If it comes out yes, the Catalan candidacy will go ahead; Otherwise, the Catalan Government will renounce the Olympic dream and will not opt for the venue together with Aragón. That same day, the Government will hold a second consultation in another area indirectly affected by the project. It will be in the regions of Ripollès (Girona), Berguedà (Barcelona) and Solsonès (Lleida). They would not host venues, but it is considered that, due to their proximity, the Games will have an impact. In this case, the vote will not be binding and the question will be different: “Should your region be involved in the project linked to the 2030 Winter Olympics?” In this second referendum, the census is 63,000 people.
This double query, difficult to understand, is the result of the balancing act between ERC and Junts within the Govern. The republicans, more reluctant to the Games, wanted a single consultation in the High Pyrenees and the Aran and did not want to extend the census due to the risk of losing. Junts, on the other hand, was in favor of consulting all the directly or indirectly affected regions. In the end, Aragonès has adopted a Solomonic decision: all the regions that Junts requested vote, but only the territories chosen as sports venues have decision-making capacity. Barcelona, on the other hand, which would host the ice hockey games at the Palau Sant Jordi, has been excluded. The CUP is frontally opposed to the Olympic project and the commons are also reluctant.
The project, in any case and regardless of the result of the consultations, is up in the air, since the Government of Aragon has not yet signed the COE proposal. The central government, the Catalan government and the COE signed last week the candidacy that they plan to send to the IOC, but Aragón did not attend the meeting and assured that it will present its alternative plan. The Spanish Olympic project will compete against Vancouver (Canada) and Salt Lake City (USA). According to the technical agreement, the Pyrenean resorts of Catalonia (La Molina, Baqueira Beret and probably Boi Taüll) would host the alpine skiing, mountain skiing, snowboarding and freestyle events. In addition, the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona would host the ice hockey matches. In Aragón, between Candanchú, Jaca and Zaragoza, they would organize the long-distance tests, the biathlon, curling and the skating tests (Zaragoza). Other disciplines, such as ski jumping, bobsleigh or skeleton, for which there are no facilities in Spain, would be held abroad and the city of Sarajevo is the one that is best located.