After being made public yesterday that the Cristian Lay company decided not to continue with its initial intention to assess a possible resumption of the activity of the Corrugados plant in Azpeitia, the Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, Arantxa Tapia has declared today that the Basque Government has done “everything in its power” so that the reopening could be carried out and that “all responsibility lies with the Azpeitia City Council”, whom it accuses of “clear abandonment of municipal responsibility and trying to throw balls out “.
Tapia has declared that he feels “discomfort and shame for the cynicism that is being used and for the time that we have lost and that we have all supposedly used with the best of our intentions.” He stressed that “the worst” have been the “false accusations that have been made to the actions of this Government, noting that we have not cared about the generation of employment and that we have acted for reasons beyond their control”, to which he added referring to the mayor of Azpeitia Nagore Alkorta, “What other people’s motives? Let me detail them.”
Tapia has accused the mayor of “not telling the whole truth” and of “hiding information”, after which he has proceeded to detail the meetings he has held with the company. According to Tapia, in March the company sent a formal request to the City Council showing its interest in reopening the plant’s activity, to which it attached a legal report in which it was assured, according to the company, that there was “no legal impediment” to reactivate it at the same current location. According to Tapia, the company was aware that it would have to make changes and investments to comply with environmental regulations, “for which we are helping it.”
Tapia has affirmed that the City Council “did not verify that report,” nor did it reply to the letter, nor did it contact the company; “There is no type of communication” has denounced.
On March 31, a “last attempt” was made to reach agreements between the three Administrations involved, in which it was proposed to the City Council to contrast the technical documents and create a work table; Furthermore, both the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and the Basque Government offered their support to the local institution to help overcome and provide a joint solution to possible problems that may arise. According to the counselor, the City Council refused “completely” claiming that the report issued by the Secretary of the City Council was binding, and that therefore, the reopening of the steelworks in the current area of Amue is not compatible.
As reported by Tapia, on April 13, the company was finally notified that it was not possible to resume the activity of the plant.
The spokeswoman for the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, Eider Mendoza, has indicated that the City Council of Azpeitia must give explanations about the not reopening of Corrugados since the project was “only in their hands” and the plant is not reopened because the council “did not want to.”
The City Council “has tried”
The highest representatives of the Azpeitia City Council have appeared today at a press conference, in which they have assured that they have “tried to work to open the steel industry in Azpeitia, but they have not let us.”
According to Mayor Nagore Alkorta “the Basque Government, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the Cristian Lay company have refused to even study the possibility of starting the company in Trukutxo” and have denounced that “the fact of having led the debate to the media does not respond to the objective of starting the factory. “
Political and union reactions
The general coordinator of We can Euskadi, Pilar Garrido, has regretted the decision of the CL group not to finally reopen the Corrugados steelworks in the Gipuzkoan town of Azpeitia, Garrido has described it as “bad news” and has stated that they are “very sorry that this reopening is renounced”.
The president of the Basque PP and the parliamentary group of PP+Cs, Carlos Iturgaiz, for its part, has considered that the decision of the CL Group not to reopen the Corrugados de Azpeitia plant, as well as the installation of the electrolyser plant in Guadalajara, are examples of the “failure of the PNV management” that sells “oasis Basque “where there is” flight of wealth “.
The general secretary of the union CC.OO. Euskadi, Loli García, has stated that it will be necessary to determine “where the responsibilities are” so that the CL group has decided not to reopen Corrugados and has shown its concern about the “loss of industrial fabric” in the Basque Country.
The Secretary General of the PSE-EE of Gipuzkoa, Eneko Andueza, yesterday regretted that the Cristian Lay Group (CL) has given up on reopening the Corrugados plant in Azpeitia, where it planned to make an investment of 50 million euros, which it considers a “lost opportunity” for Gipuzkoa.