The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, yesterday opted for a redefinition of relations between Madrid and Barcelona based on virtuous competition: “Between Madrid and Barcelona there should be a competitive dialogue,” he said during the conference. The city as a key factor for economic and social development . The debate is part of the cycle Progress in the 21st century , organized by the Barcelona Society of Economic and Social Studies for the Promotion of Work, with the collaboration of The vanguard , and that yesterday ended up at the CaixaForum in Madrid. The mayor participated in a dialogue with the president of the Economic and Social Council, Antón Costas, moderated by the journalist Enric Juliana and attended by a large representation of economic and political personalities from Madrid and Catalonia, among which were the president of Foment, Josep Sánchez Llibre; the editor Javier Godó, count of Godó; the president of the Agbar group, Ángel Simón; the vice president of the Fundació La Caixa, Juanjo López Burniol; the patron saint of the Fundació, Isabel Estapé; the group’s head of institutional relations, Sergi Loughney; the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi; the economist Ramón Tamames and the president of the Madrid Chamber, Ángel Asensio, among others.
Almeida admitted the territorial challenge posed by the injection of EU recovery funds and the determining factor of infrastructure for rebalancing. In this sense, he defended that the progress of Madrid should not be incompatible with the development of other regions, counties and metropolitan areas throughout the country. Antón Costas agreed with the popular mayor that the metaphor of Madrid as a vacuum cleaner was not fortunate. “Spain has very dynamic large and intermediate cities,” he said. “This debate on suction is false and perverse and it will not let us see the model of cities and rural areas that we have,” he said, betting on “improving the synapse” between urban neurons. This led the debate to the eventual reappearance of corridors – the Mediterranean, the Atlantic to Porto, the Ebro corridor (Bilbao-Barcelona) – as an alternative to the centripetal infrastructure model. It was at this point that Almeida opted for a redefinition of the competition: “I am a pro-Mediterranean runner; between Madrid and Barcelona there should be a competitive dialogue ”. The mayor said that “the AVE model should lead us to a series of reflections” on why it has not generated activity in intermediate cities. Both agreed that infrastructures require the support of strategic policies to optimize their benefits.
“I have no problem with the emergence of a platform against the expansion of Barajas,” says the mayor
Regarding the expansion of the Barajas Almeida airport, he was very satisfied and put the accent, not so much on the expansion of passenger capacity as on the possibility of it becoming a hub airport freight. “I have no problem with there being a platform against enlargement and they can state their reasons. The problem would be that we did not have the arguments to answer them.
Regarding the controversy over the expansion of El Prat, the mayor confessed his amazement at the speed with which the debate had festered and had become binary, so that it had been settled without seeking “a point
balance: if it is important to generate sustainability policies
Because growth cannot be Attila’s horse, it is no less true that the inability to put a solution on the table is surprising, “he argued,” because we have the tools.
Costas reflected on the orographic difficulties of the city of Barcelona, nestled “between two rivers, a mountain and the sea”, and added his own confusion: “It surprises me how in Barcelona, there is talk of an expansion of 1,700 million and only mention expanding a track. But building a track costs 70 million. The rest is to build an airport city. There is hardly any talk about this, but it is important so that the debates are not of gallinaceous flight ”.