Another wobble in the joint Catalan-Aragonese candidacy for the Winter Olympics. The president of the government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, has informed the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) by letter that his executive will not attend the meeting called for this Friday to give the green light to the technical proposal outlining the venues to be proposed in the 2030 Games bid. The Aragonese leader reiterates in the letter to the COE president, Alejandro Blanco, that the balance of venues allocated to the two territories is not "fair" and complains that proposals to hold events in the ski stations of Aragon were flatly rejected "without any technical basis".
Once the technical committee, consisting of the three administrations affected and coordinated by the COE, managed to agree on a proposal for the allocation of the venues, a meeting of all three governments was called for this Friday to formally endorse the pact as a preliminary step to formalizing the Games bid before the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Aragon had already pointed out its reticence over the proposal, while the Catalan government made it clear that the agreement had already been closed and that it has no intention of reopening it.
In the letter, which has been published in different mediain Aragon, Lambán warns that after the technical negotiations, it is time to return to political negotiations, and on that basis he proposes that "no later than" next week he will send the COE president an alternative. At the moment, among his demands, he explains that he considers it essential for some events to be held at the major Aragonese ski stations of Formigal and Cerler. He also makes it clear that fragmented negotiations cannot take place and that issues such as the name of the Games, the opening and closing ceremonies, and the organizational structure must be included. “We don’t aspire to be more than anyone else, but not less either,” he warns.
The distribution of venues agreed last week by the technical committee provided for the alpine skiing, downhill and slalom events to be held in La Molina-Masella; ski mountaineering, at La Ribagorça and Pallars Jussà, presumably at Boí Taüll; snowboarding and freestyle, at Baqueira-Beret; and ice hockey, in Barcelona. In Aragon, there will be cross-country and biathlon (at Candanchú), curling (Jaca) and figure and speed skating (Zaragoza).