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Government ‘very seriously’ considering abandoning 2030 Winter Olympics project

Stop Olympic Games Platform calls for a citizens’ vote in the Pyrenean areas that would be affected

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23 September 2021 11:20 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The minister of the presidency, Laura Vilagrà, has said that the Catalan government will "very seriously" consider abandoning hopes to host the 2030 Winter Olympics if residents of the Pyrenean areas where the Games would be hosted do not want the event to go ahead. 

Last summer, the Catalan government, then led by former president Quim Torra, formally endorsed the candidacy of the Pyrenees-Barcelona to host the Winter Games. 

Vilagrà, visiting La Seu d'Urgell in the Catalan Pyrenees mountains, put forward the argument that the Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 candidacy was made "for the development of the Pyrenees." 

The minister met with the Stop Olympic Games Platform which reaffirmed its opposition to the project and called for a date to be set for a binding referendum on the matter in the counties that would host the Games in the mountains - Alt Pirineu, Berguedà, and Ripollès.

Pau Lozano, spokesperson for the platform, explained that they had asked the minister to make the referendum question clear and uniquely about the Olympic Games.

He pleaded for “transparency” from the minister and requested that the list of infrastructures that will be built for the event and the budget be made public. 

The Catalan government pledges that the Games would be the first “green” Games to ever take place, as the project had been designed "with scrupulous respect for the environment."

In August of this year, residents spoke out against the prospective hosting of the global sporting event, with the Stop Olympic Games Platform strongly criticizing the promises that the plans will be friendly to the environment.

"No matter how they disguise them and no matter how 'green' they make their lies out to look, the Winter Olympics are not, nor will they be, sustainable," spokesperson Bernat Lavaquiol said at the time. 

If the bid is successful, it would "turn the Pyrenees into a theme park for people from Barcelona," Lavaquiol warns, who also criticizes that the candidacy is being prepared "from offices in Barcelona that are under pressure from construction and tourism lobbies."

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  • Presidency minister Laura Vilagrà visits La Seu d'Urgell, September 2021 (photo from Ajuntament de la Seu d'Urgell)

  • Presidency minister Laura Vilagrà visits La Seu d'Urgell, September 2021 (photo from Ajuntament de la Seu d'Urgell)

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