Today, the head of the Catalan executive – together with the Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Damià Calvet – made an institutional visit to the Port of Tarragona. President Torra called on the Spanish government to “meet the deadlines set and move forward with the Mediterranean Corridor”.
“We still don’t know – clearly and with certainty – what year the Corridor will be completed. This is a deplorable situation that’s hindering the growth of the Port of Tarragona and depriving our companies and workers of opportunities [because] infrastructure deficits are social deficits,” he said.
The Port of Tarragona “has done the necessary work and completed construction of access ways. What’s missing is the Corridor. As a result, Tarragona’s and Catalonia’s growth prospects are blocked,” Torra said. “We need the Spanish state to finish work on the infrastructure, which is vitally important for Catalan ports.” Torra called on the Spanish government to transfer authority over the management of all port infrastructure to the Catalan government: “It makes no sense that there are Catalan ports where decisions are still being made 500 km away. It’s time for the Government of Catalonia to take charge of managing our ports.”
The head of the government encouraged the president of the port to “push forward with ambitious, forward-looking infrastructure projects,” which “aren’t just for Tarragona and its metropolitan area, but for Catalonia as a whole”. “Catalonia’s future and success will depend on your future and success,” he said. “The Catalan government will stand by you and support your requests, demands and dreams for the future.”
Torra held a working meeting with the president of the Port of Tarragona, Josep Maria Cruset; the general manager, Ramón Garcia; and the executive committee of the Port Authority. He also met with the works council and port workers, whom he thanked for their key role in the port’s success. “The people who enable projects and companies to move forward are the most important factor,” he said.
Minister Calvet called for the creation of a Catalan port system. “Catalonia’s progress is led by our ports. Our economy and our ability to produce and export depend on them,” he said. He also praised the Port of Tarragona is “an example of integration with the surrounding territory”.
The president of the Port of Tarragona, Josep Maria Cruset, thanked Torra for visiting the port to “learn more about the organisation, listen to our needs, and help us press for action on structural issues that are crucial to our future, such as the Mediterranean Corridor and the A27 motorway, where we need to have the Coll de Lilla operating as soon as possible”. “The Port of Tarragona is the great economic engine of southern Catalonia, and we want to continue playing this role in the future,” Cruset said. “That’s why a major effort is being made to increase our competitiveness in the global market.” He also noted the port’s “huge capacity to generate wealth and synergies in the territory”. “We’re firmly committed to going much further and facing the future with better guarantees.”
Other participants in the visit were the Catalan government’s territorial representative in Tarragona, Òscar Peris; and the Director General for Ports and Transport, Pere Padrosa.
The Port of Tarragona in numbers
Among Catalan ports, Tarragona is second only to Barcelona in terms of the volume of freight it handles. The main products that pass through the port include crude oil and other goods related to the petrochemical industry, as well as agri-food products. In fact, the Port of Tarragona is a Mediterranean hub for storage and distribution of petrochemical products and the leader in shipping of agri-food products, both within Spain and in the Mediterranean region.