Entire Catalan business community redoubles pressure on Government for El Prat expansion
The main economic agents of the country demand a "great institutional pact" to go ahead with the project
BarcelonaThe main business entities of Catalonia have gathered this Wednesday at Esade business school to demand the expansion of El Prat airport. Representatives of the employers' associations Foment del Treball, Pimec and Cecot, the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, lobbies such as Cercle d'Economia or Barcelona Global and personalities of the academic world such as the economist Andreu Mas-Colell have staged in a joint event to put pressure on the Catalan government so it gives green light to the project.
Under the slogan "All for the expansion of the airport," economic agents have called for a "great institutional pact" to approve the expansion of infrastructure. "Already too many opportunities have been lost and we cannot miss this plane towards", Josep Sánchez Llibre, president of Foment del Treball has claimed. The employers' leader has recalled that there is "no time to spare" to take this decision, and has demanded that the agreement between the administrations and the airport is "fast" to assure the investment of €1.7bn.
For his part, the president of the employers' association Pimec, Antoni Cañete, also claimed that this project is necessary: "For our country and the future of our children," he said, and asked the institutions to consider whether they want to "play in the Second Division or the Champions League". The president of the Cercle d'Economia, Javier Faus, has also insisted on this point: "Will we be able to deny future generations what previous generations did for us?"
In this sense, Faus has also expressed the concern of the institution he heads before "a certain apology of degrowth to our country". "We advocate sustainable and non-speculative growth, but growth nevertheless. We cannot let these ideas win," he reiterated. Faus acknowledged, however, the importance of territorial cohesion in works that would affect an area of the Llobregat delta protected by the Natura 2000 network
Roca defends the intermodalitat
The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, Mònica Roca, has added an argument reminiscent of the 2007 at Iese to demand an autonomous management of El Prat. "We want the airport to be managed from close by so that corresponds to the needs of the local economy", she has affirmed. In fact, he also demanded a "broader and more integrated" vision of the airport network that takes into account intermodality. In other words, "in the not so distant future" short distances will increasingly be covered by train and infrastructures such as El Prat will have to focus their efforts on long-haul flights.