The mayors of EH BIldu today made a statement in Donostia against the intention of the parties in the Government to modify the Urban Planning Law, creating for this the new legal figure: Projects of Higher Public Interest (PIPS).
“We want to denounce the change in the Territorial Organization Law that wants to be carried out in the Basque Parliament” they have stressed; “It is well known that through this change, the PNV and the PSE want to create a new figure to be able to impose projects bypassing the urban planning of the municipalities. Change that they want to accept this Thursday in the Basque Government, and that opens the door to power, unilaterally, invalidating the decisions made by the competent and legitimate institutions that are the city councils. And this is not democratic, “they insist.
The delegation made up of Xabier Lertxundi (Hernani), Agurtzane Solabarrieta (Usurbil), Gurutze Etxezabal (Deputy Mayor of Orexa), Iñigo Gaztelu (Larrabetzu), Egoitz Garmendia (Otxandio), Iratxe Arriola (Ea) and Erikaán Letamendi (San Millán) hanmendi claimed municipal autonomy. “The city councils are the lowest-level entities within the institutional system. We have less power than the Basque Government and the Provincial Councils. But the fact of having less economic and budgetary power does not make us less relevant before the citizens, the initiatives and the projects that we carry out from city councils improve the lives of citizens as much or more than those that are implemented from any other entity “, they have pointed out.
They have denounced that the parties in the Government “are carrying out an attack against democracy. They want to steal our authority and our word; not only to the mayors and mayors, but also to the citizens. For the mayors of EH Bildu, the democratic exercise goes much further than a vote every four years. “
They have underlined that the municipalities’ own competences (economic, legislative or ordinance) are “fundamental tools to improve the lives of citizens”, which is why they defend the participation of the municipalities “when defining planning”.
The urban competition is, according to the mayors, “one of the most important functions of any city council. On the one hand, because it gives us the ability to organize and build the future of our municipalities. And on the other, for protect the territory and the well-being of its citizens“. Before which, they denounce that” the intention to change the Law of Territorial Planning, brings with it a reduction of local democracy; since it invalidates the decisions made through citizen participation “.
They also criticize that they want to carry out this change “at full speed”, and without consulting the city councils “despite the fact that it calls into question the municipal powers.” As they underline “the needs that defend the environment have to be carried out in a planned, orderly and consensual manner; like any other crucial challenge for the development of our municipalities; and not in a hurry, through the back door and through imposition.”
They also wonder what the environmental criterion consists of since “it is not defined anywhere, and we well know what the Basque Government understands as environmental improvement: the TAV, the incinerator, fracking and the financing of cars diesel”.
EH Bildu tries to stop the changes also from Eudel, and has requested several reports to analyze the effect of this change in the law on municipalities. They insist that the Basque Government must pave the way for dialogue and have called “reportable neglect” the lack of interest on the part of the municipal representatives of the rest of the parties.
Denunciation in the Basque Parliament and General Meetings
The Parliamentarian of EH Bildu Mikel Otero denounced in plenary session on December 2 that, “despite having the majority to carry out the initiative through more guaranteeing and more democratic channels” (bill or bill), the governing parties have chosen the path of the partial amendments, “the worst, the least guaranteeing”.
And, as Otero denounced, “by doing so, through the back door of the amendments, this has been prevented from passing through the Legal Advisory Commission, and has prevented Parliament from giving or making an informed decision about this reality new legal “. He added that “the town councils have not been able to activate the defense mechanisms of their powers, and it has also prevented the Euskadi Council of Local Governments from acting.”
The parliamentarian pointed out that the Euskadi Local Institutions law is being violated “which in its article 91 says, clearly, that provisions of a general nature such as this one, which specifically affect the municipalities’ own competences, such as urban planning, will be subject to a prior mandatory report by the Basque Local Government Commission “, a rule that is not being complied with.
The juntero of EH Bildu in Gipuzkoa and former mayor of San Sebastián Juan Carlos Izagirre also in the plenary session on December 2, he dismissed the new legal entity as “nonsense”. He denounced that behind this decision there is “a government model that imposes, that governs by turning its back and turning a deaf ear to the citizens” and that “imposes projects that go against the will of the majority” and the decisions adopted within the municipal bosom .
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.