Infrastructure: no credit by 2021

Little remains positive of 2020 that is finally gone, aside the incidence of the pandemic. AND little is left of hope for 2021, beyond turning the page and forcing yourself to change pace. But there is no illusion left in Huelva to look with optimism to the new year in search of the investments that take it out of a structural crisis which has been further accentuated with the emergence of covid-19 and the new economic recession. Discouragement, in fact, has spread among the Huelva population, which has seen months come to an end in which, more than miss new opportunities In order to see possible the arrival of the necessary infrastructures, steps have been taken backwards and it has been seen how those that were called to be finalized before these dates arrived.

Behind this feeling is what happened in October with the CEUS project, that innovative unmanned flight test center, to be built on the grounds of Moguer, which has vanished when it was closer to becoming a reality. That month the validity of the Environmental Impact Statement granted years ago For the Environment, the essential visa for a draft action to be carried out in a territory. And right now we are at the starting point of a decade ago, despite the promises, new, others more, that the project will be retaken, reformulated and improved, without further delay, taking advantage of the work done. And the time has been running for more than two months without anything new being said.

That setback given by the State Government and the Junta de Andalucía is the one that has finished releasing the latent disenchantment in the province of Huelva, who maintained the hope that the countdown that ended in 2020 would spur, at least, this investment, of minimal amounts and truly incalculable benefits.

Therefore, at the same time, it is the same failure that has ended the credit given for years to the Huelva political class, which is blamed for an active inoperation, concretized in a discourse on infrastructures – all aware that they are necessary in Huelva like nowhere else in Spain – turned into a mantra without effect, perhaps uncomfortable rattle due to lack of effectiveness.

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Behind this is the initiative given by a group of front-line businessmen in the province, with the president of the Caja Rural del Sur, José Luis García-Palacios Álvarez, at the head. They were the ones who responded days after the CEUS failure was known with a private initiative that will lead to reactivate what was never really activated. They talk about the unmanned planes of El Arenosillo, but also about vital actions for Huelva such as the unfolding of the San Silvestre tunnel, on which the safe supply of water depends for most of the economy and the population in the province.

What happened with the CEUS project is not isolated. The announcement of the bill of the General State Budgets for 2021 It has been another blow in this final stretch of the year, as specific items are not contemplated for the aforementioned water infrastructure, but Nor for others on which irrigation depends more directly of the province or the long access road to the High speed with Seville, of which there should also be concrete progress.

The unfolding of San Silvestre

It is true that from the Government, and the Socialist Party that heads it, it has been explained to the farmers that although there is no express item, there is money for the San Silvestre tunnel and its bidding this next year. Although nothing that accelerates the process of a social and economic emergency work, for the clear risk of a collapse and fatal power outage after 50 years without maintenance. Nothing indicates that tranquility can arrive before late in 2022. If new setbacks do not arise.

Something similar happens with high-speed rail, which for years has become the flagship of the infrastructures demanded by Huelva. So much so that he has almost thrown in the towel. Despite, even, that in this past 2020 the project will be unblocked in the Ministry of Transport and take a new step towards Ecological Transition in search of the DIA which, as has happened now with the CEUS, was allowed to expire many years ago.

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In this recent journey, of course, a pandemic has emerged and a global crisis has been unleashed. The Government now says that it is not time for works of this type, of billion-dollar investments, and that it is time for the rebuilding and reshaping the economic future from the country. But as they recall from the citizen platform that insists on the realization of this project, in the province of Huelva it rains very wet and a rebuild cannot be started at a clearly lower starting point and at a disadvantage to the rest.

The AVE that does not arrive

That is why it is not understood that the PGEs do not reflect the items included in the informative study of the project connection between Huelva and Seville and investments are only collected for the current conventional line. It is answered, yes, to a parallel demand for improvement, so that episodes like the one a few days ago do not happen, with a delay of hours and loss of electricity in the convoy with Madrid. But Minister Ábalos, meanwhile, guarantees the execution in 2021 of new sections of the AVE with Galicia and progress is made in this last quarter in new studies of the Extremadura or the French border. Nothing from Portugal.

Precisely from the Ministry of Ábalos there is also an action pending that does not even involve an investment commitment. Is the Free way to be given by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation to the completely private Cristóbal Colón airport project, another of the historic demands in the province, which has been in the hands of businessmen for years, like the group that has now taken the step after the failure of the CEUS, and that should already have the definitive approval of the Administration so that it can become a reality sooner rather than later, with what is expected to mean for the tourist and agricultural sector of Huelva. Sources close to the Government assured that this should arrive at the end of the year; now would be a very positive way to boost this new 2021.

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And on the way, another of the great transport actions necessary to get Huelva out of the hole is also lost. He unfold by road of the N-435 stayed, for now, in the variant of Beas and Trigueros that Ábalos himself came to inaugurate a year and a half ago and of whose trace there are only 100,000 euros in the new PGE, again interpreted as a sudden stop. Nothing, either, of that project that spoke, at least, of leaving until Zalamea la Real the new highway. None of the necessary mountain highways to give maritime exit to Estremadura.

Forgotten buildings

While the great interventions monopolize the disappointment, in Huelva the construction of the maternal and child hospital on the land of the current Juan Ramón Jiménez, as the unjustified delay in times of the pandemic of the Isla Chica health center, in the capital, which has not even been equipped with equipment in the current wait.

Before there is the stop in the old buildings of the Treasury and the Bank of Spain, which make the center of the city a desolate landscape, pending bureaucratic procedures in the new Andalusian Board that promised to accelerate actions in offices to promote economic development. Huelva has to wait.


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