Mascort refuses to withdraw the decree on public and private swimming pools

The Minister of Climate Action, David Mascort, has ruled out modifying or remaking the Government's drought decree that leaves in the hands of the town councils the possibility of authorizing the opening of public and private swimming pools (municipal swimming pools, but also hotels, campsites and , even, from communities of owners) as long as they are declared by the municipalities as a climate refuge and the entry of citizens is allowed.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
19 April 2024 Friday 23:05
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Mascort refuses to withdraw the decree on public and private swimming pools

The Minister of Climate Action, David Mascort, has ruled out modifying or remaking the Government's drought decree that leaves in the hands of the town councils the possibility of authorizing the opening of public and private swimming pools (municipal swimming pools, but also hotels, campsites and , even, from communities of owners) as long as they are declared by the municipalities as a climate refuge and the entry of citizens is allowed. The councilor has refused to make this rectification in his latest statements. The opposition has asked to clarify the wording of some points of the decree that are considered confusing and lead to legal uncertainty.

In his response to these requests, Mascort blamed the opposition if this summer the town councils cannot open the municipal swimming pools, as they had requested. “Those who want to overturn this decree will leave the municipalities without opening the pools in summer. The parties will be responsible for their actions, they will know,” he declared to RAC1.

The issue is hot for the areas in an emergency situation (the region of Barcelona, ​​Girona and Costa Brava) but it does not affect Tarragona.

Mascort has insisted that the decree (which modifies the special drought plan) was agreed with the Federation of Municipalities of Catalonia (FMC) and the Catalan Association of Municipalities "down to the last comma".

“We will not redo it, we have worked on it with the city councils, who are the ones who must apply it,” he stated.

With the modification introduced, it will be the town councils that will have to decide whether to classify as climate shelters, in addition to municipal swimming pools, the swimming pools of hotels, campsites and community areas of owners with this equipment.

The FMC municipalities say that the draft opens the door for a private community of owners whose pool is declared a refuge to allow public access and charge for it. And there arise the doubts: Who is going to collect that money, who is going to manage it, how would issues such as first aid, capacity or security be organized?

According to Mascort, “in no case has anyone thought that a hotel or community pool could be a climate shelter” (although it is technically and legally prohibited). “No city council has thought of this,” said the councilor, who has been insisting that he would be “very surprised” if any council opted for this option, because “it wouldn't make any sense.”

As the councilor has been saying, the decree has been prepared, at the suggestion of the municipalities, thinking about the municipalities of the interior and that with this rule the intention is to give “the opportunity for that municipality that does not have a municipal swimming pool but has a private equipment that can be used as a climate shelter,” he argued. “That's why we talk about public or private facilities in the decree.”

The PSC spokesperson, Alícia Romero, asked the Catalan Executive on Friday to withdraw the decree on the use of public and private swimming pools as climate shelters, since she considers that it transfers responsibility to city councils and entails legal uncertainty. The leader of the Comuns, Jéssica Albiach, also asked that the decree be remade, since she considers that it is “a Trojan horse of the hoteliers to be able to fill the pools with the excuse of the climate shelter, and in addition they will still charge admission, therefore "It's double business."

The councilor was accused by the PSC and Comunes of improvisation on Friday in the Permanent Deputation of the Parliament, for now proposing mobile desalination plants, while for the councilor all these criticisms are due to the fact that the parties are campaigning. "Some slogans must be used, especially by those who have done nothing for 12 years," he criticized.

Mascort has confirmed that it is "impossible" to improvise the response to the drought, as the opposition says, and has stressed that the parties criticize him because they are angry because the Government had not informed them in advance of the decision to install 12 mobile desalination plants on the Coast. Brava and a floating one in the Port of Barcelona. "But I don't have to explain possible things, I have to explain real things," he argued.

In this sense, he has stressed that in a scenario that has never occurred before, it is normal for new alternatives to appear that no one has ever studied. “If four months ago I went out to explain that we were working to get a floating desalination plant and then it wasn't, what would have happened? “They would have exposed me to criticism,” she remarked.

He asked those who accuse Mascort of improvising if anyone imagines that this could be studied in the last week, and he explained that they have been analyzing it for months, speaking with suppliers around the world, such as in Norway or Turkey.

The councilor has defended his management of the drought: “We have been there for 42 months and the water continues to come out of the tap. “We must have done something right,” he said.

Mascort has confirmed that Friday's debate was not so much about what the Government does and how it does it, but rather an attempt to "want to gesticulate so that it seems that it does it badly and that they would do it better." “Citizens expect us to find solutions to things, this is what we are doing. We have been dry for 42 months and the water continues to come out of the tap. “We must have done something right,” he snapped.