Thursday, October 28

The irrigators transferred to Madrid today their rejection of any cut in the Tajo-Segura transfer


As this newspaper published a few days ago, the state administration has set very strict conditions for the holding of the protest. The march will take place between 11 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. along the Paseo de la Castellana, to the headquarters of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition. Of course, the Government Delegation has only allowed the presence of six tractors and eight refrigerated trucks, and private cars will not be able to stop in front of the Ministry. The organization will charter buses, but as a health precaution against the coronavirus, no more than 30 people will be able to go on them. In addition, they will not be able to participate in the march.

The objective of the Central Union of Irrigators is to meet with the Minister and Vice President of the Government, Teresa Ribera, to explain the difficult situation they will face whether the cuts are put in place and, consequently, the reasons for opposing them. However, as the president of the irrigators, Lucas Jiménez, expressed a few days ago, it is not clear that they will be able to maintain that meeting.

The mobilization is expected to attend irrigators, individuals and political representatives. In this sense, the Generalitat will be present through the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, Mireia Mollà, and the regional secretary of Agriculture, Roger Llanes, who announced their attendance yesterday. According to sources from the Generalitat yesterday, in this way they want to make clear “the seamless support” of the autonomous government for the claims regarding the continuity of water management that the irrigation unions and the bulk of civil society have been formulating. the southern regions of Alicante. Mollà stressed that “for the Generalitat the Tagus-Segura is inalienable” and that “it is technically endorsed, justified, rationalized and complies with environmental and socio-economic values ​​in an essential sector.”

From the Generalitat they insisted that the operation of the Tajo-Segura has contributed in an absolutely decisive way for more than 40 years to the consolidation of a socio-economic reality in a territory where more than two and a half million people live, and where irrigated crops generate an economic value of more than 3,000 million euros. This provides, they added, more than 106,000 jobs and acts as an engine for other industries linked to the agri-food sector such as transport, distribution and logistics.

Also the autonomic PP advanced that representatives of this formation will support the irrigators in Madrid today in defense of the Tajo-Segura. The attendance of the general secretary of the popular in the Community, Eva Ortiz, along with the second vice president of the Diputación and deputy of the Water Cycle, Ana Serna, along with other public positions is expected. Ortiz claimed yesterday the transfer as “fundamental for the Valencian Community field and for the survival of 80,000 irrigators and their families”, and that maintaining it “is non-negotiable.” For this reason, he urged the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, to “stand up to Sánchez and defend the farmers against a solely political decision.”

The cut in the Tajo-Segura transfer could be a reality in just two months if the Government carries out the plans it has already announced. The Executive intends to reduce from July the maximum monthly contribution of the aqueduct by more than 25%, from the current 38 cubic hectometres to 27. The irrigators have not only shown their rejection of this decrease and the consequences that it can have from the first moment, but also their fear that this is the beginning of the end of the Tajo-Segura after 42 years, that is, that the amount of water transferred will continue to decrease gradually until the total closure of the aqueduct.

The Central Union hopes, as it has already been showing in recent weeks, that mobilizations like the one that will take place today in Madrid will make the Government reconsider its position. In this sense, it is also expected that the show of force carried out last Saturday, May 15, with the tracts that were carried out to demand the continuity of the transfer in different places, among them Elche and Orihuela, will take effect. This last protest was the largest, with the participation of about 500 tractors, supported by 800 cars. These actions insisted on the relevance of the Tajo-Segura to prevent the south of the province of Alicante from being considered the orchard of Europe, as it is today, to a desert.

Monthly reduction in contributions since July

The irrigators hope that the mobilizations will force the Executive to finally modify its position


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The cut in the Tajo-Segura transfer could be a reality in just two months if the Government carries out the plans it has already announced. The Executive intends to reduce from July the maximum monthly contribution of the aqueduct by more than 25%, from the current 38 cubic hectometres to 27. The irrigators have not only shown their rejection of this decrease and the consequences that it can have from the first moment, but also their fear that this is the beginning of the end of the Tajo-Segura after 42 years, that is, that the amount of water transferred will continue to decrease gradually until the total closure of the aqueduct.

The Central Union hopes, as it has already been showing in recent weeks, that mobilizations like the one that will take place today in Madrid will make the Government reconsider its position. In this sense, it is also expected that the show of force carried out last Saturday, May 15, with the tracts that were carried out to demand the continuity of the transfer in different places, among them Elche and Orihuela, will take effect. This last protest was the largest, with the participation of about 500 tractors, supported by 800 cars. These actions insisted on the relevance of the Tajo-Segura to prevent the south of the province of Alicante from being considered the orchard of Europe, as it is today, to a desert.


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