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Alejandro Blanco denies having asked Catalonia for 400,000 euros for the Olympic candidacy

Alejandro Blanco, president of the COE. / EFE

Winter Games 2030

The president of the COE is accused of secretly negotiating with pro-independence leaders, including Artur Mas, and does not rule out going to court in the face of “false and biased” information

Amador Gomez

Three days after the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) definitively buried the joint Olympic candidacy of Catalonia and Aragon for the 2030 Winter Games, its president, Alejandro Blanco, denied having secretly negotiated with pro-independence leaders, including Artur More, and request 400,000 euros from the Generalitat to, allegedly, carry out “opaque contracts”, according to a report by the Civil Guard collected by ‘El Confidencial’. «Faced with the false and tendentious statements published, which try to discredit the COE and me as its president, I reserve the right to demand, for the COE and for myself, the clarifications, rectifications and compensations that may be required by law, including by judicially”, announced the head of the Spanish Olympic Committee through a statement after being accused of irregular behavior.

“At no time have the Spanish Olympic Committee or I myself received or claimed a subsidy or any amount for the steps taken for the aforementioned candidacy; Quite the contrary, these efforts have generated expenses that have been borne by the COE, charged to its own private resources,” says Alejandro Blanco, who, “for greater abundance,” also transcribed a statement made this Friday by the person who was secretary of Sports of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Gerard Figueras.

«The COE never asked for a single euro from the Generalitat. Not one. Nor did the Generalitat, while I was in charge of the General Secretariat of Sport, transfer a single euro to the COE. The 400,000 euros that appear in the science fiction published in this communication medium (‘El Confidencial’) refer to the amount that, from the Generalitat, we commented we could try to budget for 2020, in the event that it had to go to the Tokyo 2020 Games to promote the candidacy, something that never happened, “said Gerard Figueras, current Secretary of Foreign Action of the Generalitat, who was arrested, accused of alleged crimes of embezzlement of public funds, influence peddling and prevarication.

As reflected by ‘El Confidencial’, the Civil Guard, in the framework of the investigation against the alleged massive public funds to the independence movement, now points to the “opaque” nature of the money invested in the Olympic candidacy, “not being able to rule out a embezzlement of public funds. The President of the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, also announced this Friday that he does not rule out going to ordinary justice in the face of the “obvious manipulations” of the Spanish candidacy frustrated by political confrontations. “We know that it constitutes a crime,” Lambán proclaimed in reference to the videos that the COE has leaked of the meetings between the technicians of Catalonia and Aragon and that are considered manipulated. “Catalonia acted as the sole owner of the candidacy and reserved for Aragon a role of mere troupe,” lamented the socialist leader.

“No fucking case of Zaragoza”

According to ‘El Confidencial’, during a meeting held on November 7, 2019 in Vilanova i la Geltrú between Alejandro Blanco and senior officials of the Generalitat, the president of the COE assured that he had the approval of both King Felipe VI and the president of the Government then in office, Pedro Sánchez. The president of the COE argued that the central government considered it convenient to launch the Olympic bid to calm the situation in Catalonia. This medium ensures that Alejandro Blanco stated that although the central government “would cover a large part of the expenses”, the disbursement of 400,000 euros was necessary, which was accepted by the leaders of the Generalitat for estimating that the 2030 Games would be a boost to the secessionism “No fucking case of Zaragoza,” Gerard Figueras allegedly said during that meeting.

«During the process of gestation and development of the 2030 winter Olympic bid, I have held meetings, public and private, with political leaders, social, business and trade union agents, both from Catalonia and Aragon, in order to expand as much as possible possible base of support for the candidacy,” recalled Alejandro Blanco, accused of being “an ally of independence” by Javier Lambán. «Alejandro Blanco has always insisted on equal conditions, although in Catalonia he never talked about it. It is clear that they wanted an exclusive Olympic Games, leaving Aragón as a comparsa, ”insisted the president of Aragón.

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