Catalonia wants to ask for the 2030 Games without Aragon, although it still does not have the support of the COE

Catalonia wants to move on to a new phase and is already looking to go it alone with the 2030 Winter Olympics. The Minister of the Presidency of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Laura Vilagrà, announced this Thursday that the Generalitat is working to prepare an Olympic candidacy solely for Catalans “with the necessary collaborations”. Vilagrà vindicated the position of the Catalan Government before the “point of no return” of the negotiations with the Diputación General de Aragón (DGA). In this way, the Generalitat intends to remove the Pyrenees-Barcelona initiative from the drawer, the matrix plan prepared by the Catalan Executive since 2010 that served as the basis for the current joint candidacy with Aragon.

The plans of the Generalitat, in any case, need the endorsement of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), the only valid interlocutor for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to present a candidacy. Sources from the Generalitat admit that Vilagrà’s announcement is a pressure measure to make it clear that the Catalan government will not throw in the towel for the Games, but that it will not be easy to convince the COE in the face of pressure from Moncloa. The central government insists between corridors that it prefers a shared candidacy rather than a single Catalan one, especially because of the political wear and tear that it can entail. COE sources consider that the movement in Catalonia “makes sense” given the difficulty of reaching agreements with Aragon, but they admit that the negotiations will not be easy.

The national committee has been claiming for two years, when Aragon entered the scene, that it will only present a joint project to the IOC, although in recent weeks it has opened the possibility of choosing an autonomous project if the Generalitat and the DGA do not agree. “We believe that we will get ahead”, insisted Vilagrà. “The IOC has told us that it wants a European proposal on the table by 2030. Who wants to miss this opportunity?”

The IOC already endorsed a candidacy in 2018 only in Catalonia, with the possibility of holding some tests outside its territory. “We will commission Monica Bosch [responsable de la candidatura en Cataluña] that presents a strictly Catalan project with the collaborations that are necessary. With the current assets we have possibilities”, remarked the counselor.

The government of Aragon announced on Wednesday that it will “remove sea and land” against a strictly Catalan candidacy because, it considers, “it is totally unacceptable”, according to the Aragonese Presidency Minister, Mayte Pérez.

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