Four major projects in Tarragona, pending the new ministers of the Government

Some of the large projects that Tarragona is putting on track are now facing a change in the ministries on which they depend, as a result of the redistribution of portfolios in the new single-color Govern of ERC, after the departure of Junts. In some cases it deals with initiatives already started and with consensus, but in others there may be more debate, especially taking into account the changes at the head of the different Departments.

Perhaps the most territorially transversal work is the Camp de Tarragona tramway, which continues to take steps towards its materialization. Last week, the Official Gazette of the Generalitat de Catalunya (DOGC) published the "favorable" resolution of the environmental impact study, approved by the Department of Climate Action and which should allow the construction project to move forward, which will be announced in brief. The document endorses the route from Cambrils to PortAventura along the old road, as well as the construction of a link to Vila-seca. Likewise, it defends that the existing Adif rail network not be used for the connection with Tarragona and Reus, but that this connection be resolved from an "independent route" that will require a demand study. The project must be key to the mobility of Tarragona and, initially, the consensus is absolute. It remains to be seen the lines of the Conselleria de Territori, now in the hands of Juli Fernàndez. Until now, the planning of the infrastructure fell to the portfolio of Polítiques Digitals i Territori, in charge of the former vice president Jordi Puigneró.

Another relay has taken place in Justice. Lourdes Ciró from Reus has left the executive and has been replaced by Gemma Ubasart, in one of the winks of the Aragonese President in the orbit of Podemos. It will be her main responsibility to get ahead one of the great pending subjects of Tarragona capital: the long-awaited City of Justice.

The Judicial City, which should be in 2026, is one of the most necessary facilities

The complex, which must solve the problem of fragmentation of judicial services and all the inconvenience and waste that this entails, will be built on Arquebisbe Pont i Gol street, in the surroundings of the Joan XXIII Hospital, as announced by the Government in January. It is a plot of 9,000 square meters near the river, next to the Obert Penitentiary Center, on which 32,000 square meters of judicial facilities, the Prosecutor's Office, professional associations and the territorial services of Justice can be built. The planning established by the Government foresaw that the first actions on the ground could be carried out at the end of 2023, with the aim that the equipment could be a reality in 2026.

The change in health

Much more outlined is the horizon for the new Joan XXIII, another urgent piece of equipment that is also facing a substitution at the top of the Department. Manel Balcells has taken charge of Salut instead of Josep Maria Argimon and will have to channel a project that is already fully defined.

In fact, the works began in May, with a first phase to modify the urbanization that should allow the future building to be erected. The first actions were adaptation work in the Emergency Room, and also meant the realization of an ambitious project that has been lengthening over the years. In fact, it was the previous Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, who presented the project at the beginning of 2021. The works will last until 2026 and the planned investment is 170 million euros.

Less historic, but also far-reaching, is the planned conversion of the Ciutat de Repòs i Vacances into a youth hostel. The new facility will specialize in promoting emotional health and should be up and running in 2026, according to Violant Cervera, Minister of Social Rights, now relieved in office by Carles Campuzano, a former convergent, assured in March. The plan must solve one of those grievances that drag Tarragona capital in terms of disuse of emblematic places, since the Llevant facility is closed and without any use since 2011.

The adaptation will cost around 15 million euros financed with Next Generation funds. The Department will have to deal, yes, with the notorious opposition of part of the residents of Llevant, who in recent months have mobilized against the project, holding votes to collect their disagreement with the initiative. In any case, the work has generated controversy and a strong division in the area. The mobilization will continue in the coming months.

Beyond Tarragona, the Hospital Verge de la Cinta de Tortosa, in Terres de l'Ebre, or the expansion of El Vendrell (Baix Penedès) are other open fronts, for which the territory demands progress and that there be no delays despite the relays. Another project awaiting and pending the final procedures is Hard Rock. The Generalitat has not yet specified a start date for the works, ten years after they began to talk about a project that has undergone different changes and has run into a trail of obstacles.

The ERC and Junts agreements in the province are not in danger

The rupture between Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and Junts in the Govern de la Generalitat will not affect the different pacts that both formations have reached in local politics in Tarragona in recent years. The main ones are the coalitions in the City Council of Reus, in the City Council of Valls and in the Consell Comarcal del Baix Camp. In this sense, there have been several voices that have come forward denying any territorial conflict, despite the antagonism that the two parties have reached at the national level.

On this, Teresa Pallarès (JuntsxReus), defends that «the rupture of the Government of the Generalitat does not have to imply the rupture of the pacts in the municipalities where we govern together. And in the case of Reus, the municipal government works well and we anticipate that it will continue with the current partners until the end of the mandate». Along the same lines, sources from the Valls mayor's office point out that “there are no changes in sight. We are 100% focused on ongoing projects and compliance with government agreements." Finally, Quim Calatayud, president of the Vegueria de Junts in Camp de Tarragona, commented that “not even a pact is moving anymore. Now we are about elections. People after the long weekend in December will already fully connect with the month of May».

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