The president of the Catalan Government, Pere Aragonès, has expressed this morning "the deep indignation" of the Executive for the decision of the extension of the El Prat Airport, and has denounced that it is "a maneuver of pressure". "They want us to accept the way they want to do the expansion or else there is no expansion, and we cannot accept that", said the head of government. And he added: "It is an operation of blackmail, they want to put us between a rock and a hard place, and what they cannot do is force the Catalan Government to choose between investments and preservation of the natural heritage".
Pere Aragonès, who appeared to the media to assess the Government's decision, assured that "the Catalan Government is not giving up anything, neither the improvement of the airport nor the fight in defense of the environment and biodiversity", and called for "dialogue, consensus, progress and environmental commitment" to find a good agreement.
For the president, with yesterday's decision "the Spanish State government states that they have no will for dialogue and that they are not willing to work from consensus, renouncing to contribute to the economic progress of Catalonia and despising the need to preserve the natural areas protected by the European Union". Therefore, he demanded that "the Spanish State tell the truth" and not put as an excuse that there is a lack of consensus with the Catalan Government, and "return to the principle of agreement that we signed on August 2, not wanting to impose their vision but dialogue, this is the way".
The president assured that the blackmail of the Spanish State "can have consequences of decades on future generations" and, therefore, has demanded that "decisions are taken well and with all the alternatives on the table". "When they have had to stop investments in commuter trains they have stopped them; when they have decided not to fulfill the promises in commuter trains they have not fulfilled them and these are also the priority investments that Catalonia needs and on which they are in no hurry", Aragonès recalled.
Aragonès insisted that "we worked for flexibility and we achieved it on the 2nd and then Aena (state company that manages Spanish airports) backed out". "An investment of 1,700 million is not decided on the basis of public statements. This is a political maneuver", he reiterated, and once again called for the management of El Prat airport as an option for the future.