The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has described as an “anomaly” that the Government of Catalonia does not manage the economic resources to make the payment to Renfe for its Rodalies services in Catalonia, something that, she has assured, lasts 10 years .
This was said at a press conference this Monday after visiting the Alstom factory in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda (Barcelona), accompanied by the president of Renfe, Isaías Táboas, and the president of Alstom Spain, Leopoldo Maestu.
Through the fiscal and economic affairs commission set up together with the Generalitat, the minister intends “to know how to unblock the transfer of resources so that the Generalitat assumes the payment to Renfe , and not to do so through the Ministry”, and has specified that this does not includes the transfer of personnel, or material, trains or facilities.
He also recalled that Alstom has been commissioned to manufacture 152 trains for Renfe -to renew 50% of the Cercanías and Media Distancia fleet- for an investment of 1,447 million euros and that, with its sights set on the moment when signing the contract between the Generalitat and Renfe for the management of Rodalies, Renfe has reserved the option of ordering 76 more trains, something that would increase the order by an additional 873 million euros.
Sánchez has defended that this investment will contribute to removing private cars from the road network, to industrial transformation -creating employment and qualified training- and to “improving the daily life of citizens”, thinking about mobility as a service and as a right, in his words.
Controversy with El Prat
Asked about the possibility of extending the negotiation with the Generalitat on the extension of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport, whose investment was canceled last Wednesday, she said that she believes that “it would generate more inconvenience than benefits” and that they have already had time enough to explain the project.
For this reason, he has once again asked the Government “to ratify the agreement it assumed on August 2” with the central Government and with Aena for the expansion, and has recalled that Aena’s Airport Regulation Document (Dora) not only addresses the investments in El Prat, but also those of the rest of airports in Spain, so extending it would not be the best solution, he has said verbatim.
As for dealing with the issue at the dialogue table with the Government – which is expected to be held at the end of the week – he has assured that “it would not be the object or the ideal forum”, although he has also affirmed that the Government is willing to talk about any subject, as long as it is within the law, something that, for her, excludes dealing with amnesty for those convicted of the ‘procés’ and the self-determination of Catalonia.