The Christian Lay company has confirmed that it desists from reopening the Corrugados plant in Azpeitia when finding it impossible to do so in the current location and considering that its transfer to the Trukutxo area is not feasible.
Last November the company had consulted the possibility of reactivating the plant, for which it estimated an initial investment of 50 million euros and the creation of 700 jobs.
When it was known that the General Urban Planning Plan was an obstacle to the project, the controversy leaped to the media and revealed great disagreements between institutions.
On the one hand, the Basque Government and the Provincial Council have expressed their conviction that it was possible to reopen the steelworks at the current location, and that it was “a matter of political will” to allow it, while the city Hall has defended from the beginning that resume said activity in the current area of Amue, in the center of the town it was incompatible with the General Urban Development Plan, approved in its day unanimously between EH Bildu and PNV.
The Azpeitia City Council ensures that there has never been a real project on the table, just an informal proposal. The mayor, Nagore Alkorta, has indicated on Radio Euskadi that on March 31 they held the last meeting with the Basque Government and the Provincial Council and, according to Alkorta, it was “clear” by everyone that there has never been a project.
“There has never been a real project, there is no feasibility plan, there is no business plan and all the agents have only held one meeting, for half an hour. Therefore, it cannot be said that many attempts have been made and that the project has not come to fruition because of the Azpeitia City Council “, emphasizes the mayor.
As he has advanced, the only point in which he is working in the meetings he has underway with the company, correspond to the dismantling of the facilities and the recovery of that area. “We have these meetings underway, so if another institution has made other commitments, I think it would be the one that will have to respond to the expectations it has generated,” Alkorta said.
The daccused of Economic Promotion of Gipuzkoa, Jabier Larrañaga, has assured that the CL Group’s decision is a “direct consequence” of “the blocking attitude maintained by the City Council and the mayor, Nagore Akorta, in recent months”.
Larrañaga has described the management carried out by the municipal government as a “lost opportunity”. “From the beginning, both the Provincial Council and the Basque Government have extended a hand to make the project go ahead. We have insisted that we were on time and that the opening was feasible if the City Council rectified and showed political will,” he remarked.
The deputy has assured that the context for the reopening of Corrugados was “totally favorable” and recalled that the Basque Government “has repeatedly stated that it was feasible to comply with environmental requirements.”
“We would have liked the City Council to have been up to the task, but unfortunately now we can only regret it and let each one assume their responsibilities,” he concluded.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.