The Basque Government’s Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment, Arantxa Tapia, has stated that the urban plan for the Gipuzkoan town of Azpeitia does not prevent the reopening of Corrugated and that at this time the obstacle for this project to prosper “it’s only political”.
This was stated by Tapia at a press conference in Parliament where he assured that he is “putting at risk” a project that could generate some 700 direct and indirect jobs.
The counselor recalled that the obstacles that were put to the project promoted by the Cristian Lay group for Corrugados have been of an environmental and urban nature. In environmental matters, the group has shown itself willing to make the necessary investments.
The municipal government of Azpeitia, from EH Bildu, considers that it would be illegal to reopen the plant, located in the urban nucleus and closed in 2013, because the current General Plan for Urban Development (PGOU) establishes that part of these lands are intended for housing and equipment.
Tapia, who has read various points of the Azpeitia urban plan, has stated that “it is not true” that the PGOU does not allow this activity. “The General Plan allows it,” insisted the counselor, who stressed that at the moment there is no urban problem, but rather a “political problem”, something she has said is “incomprehensible but real.”
The counselor has also opined that if the Azpeitia City Council wants to develop a popular consultation on the subject, it should pronounce itself and say “that it prefers an urban activity to the development of that industrial activity.” “It is lawful (that position), we accept it but there is no urban excuse for this activity to be carried out,” said Tapia, who has also specified that if a popular consultation is going to be raised, it means that it is legally possible to reopen because of otherwise it could not.
The ITP case
On the other hand, Tapia has ensured that the Basque Government cannot pronounce “for or against” any of the offers to buy ITP.
Faced with the possibility that the Executive will join Aernnova for the acquisition of ITP, the counselor has regretted that on this issue information “that is not exactly correct” has been disseminated.
Tapia explained that for the Government “the important thing” in this buying and selling process is what is the project that they want to carry out with ITP, he recalled that there is “more than one purchase option”, and stated that the Executive is “on the front line”, talking to each of the buyers and “analyzing different options”.
“For us it is relevant that it is an industrial project, settled, located and rooted in Euskadi, that generates employment, and that has a vocation for the future,” he said, adding that from there, “any of the offers that can guarantee this will have the approval and collaboration of the Basque Government “.
Tapia has indicated that if this is confirmed, and if there were several Basque, Spanish or international companies interested in acquiring ITP, the Basque Government “could not take a stake in one of them at the initial moment.” “It is not logical for a government to act like this,” he explained.
However, it has stated that once all the projects are analyzed and it is determined that the winner of the offer by ITP “meets the requirements” set forth by the Basque Government, the latter “could consider” participation in said project. “Of course. We were already shareholders of ITP in the past,” he recalled