ATECA (SARAGOZA), July 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, promised this Wednesday to “recover” the damage caused by the forest fire that broke out this Monday in the municipality of Ateca in Zaragoza and has already devastated 14,000 hectares of mountains and to close the evictions enforce several municipalities.
Sánchez has visited a place between the parishes of Ateca and Moros, in the municipality of Calatayud, after the fire reached proportions this Tuesday, which led to the mobilization of more resources and the evacuation of the towns of Villalengua and Moros, spreading during the night and also had to evacuate the towns of Alhama de Aragón, Castejón de las Armas, Bubierca and the Villarroya de la Sierra nursing home.
The Head of the Central Executive met with the President of the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, near Ateca, where the President of the Autonomous Courts, Javier Sada, former Mayor of Ateca, the Government Delegate, Rosa Serrano , and the Mayor of Atecano, Ramón Cristóbal.
He welcomed those responsible for firefighting, including staff and media from the Government of Aragon, firefighters from the Zaragoza Provincial Council, the Civil Guard, the Military Emergency Unit (UME), Civil Protection, firefighters from the Zaragoza City Council and media from the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Valencian Community.
He then visited an area affected by the fire. Pedro Sánchez has expressed his “solidarity and appreciation” to all government officials fighting the blazes and lamented the death of an agent in the Zamora fire, in the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León.
Recalling that there are many “who are risking their lives on the front lines to protect the residents of the affected cities”, he referred not only to the representatives of public administration, but also to “important NGOs”, among whom he has credited the Red Cross for helping to clean up communities affected by the fire and providing psychological support to displaced neighbors, “with all the emotional distress that comes with losing a home” from the fire.
“On many occasions, citizens wonder where their taxes are going,” Sánchez said, explaining that they are committed to “strengthening” the welfare state, citing the case of the COVID-19 pandemic that showed “how important is the national health system “, even in the case of “such adverse phenomena” as forest fires, “if we want public officials to have all the materials and guarantees to do their job effectively and safely”.
The President of the Spanish Government has highlighted the value of “interinstitutional cooperation”, indicating that all public administrations are involved in fighting the fire in Ateca and increasing the number of members of the Military Emergency Unit (UME ), who will be duplicated, up to 208 components, to which a total of 34 military vehicles will be added.
Sánchez has defended “overarching policies that affect the entire state,” such as the National Fire Response Plan, which affects 12 departments. The General State Administration is involved in extinguishing 83 percent of forest fires across Spain, he stressed.
The head of the Central Executive has recalled that in the recent State of the Union debate he suggested that the government would approve a general framework for work recognition for all those dedicated to firefighting.
On the other hand, he has called for reflection on the climatic emergency, pointing out that up to this month of July, more than 70,000 hectares of land have burned in Spain, twice as much as in any year for the last two decades, and counted this year 11 major fires already, almost twice as many as in the last decade, plus the two heat waves of the last four weeks with temperatures above 40 degrees during the day and 25 at night, with wild soils at more than 30 degrees, the scientists data for 2050 have predicted and will be produced this year, 2022.
“Therefore, the climate emergency is a reality, climate change is killing people, is deadly to our ecosystems and is challenging people and places in rural areas,” Sánchez said.
In political terms, he asserted, “this situation means that we must take combating, mitigating and adapting to climate change seriously,” which requires “making environmental policy public policy, outside of partisan struggles,” since ” it has nothing to do with ideology.
He has called for “policies that unite, not divide”, which requires “putting interinstitutional cooperation ahead of other considerations”. He has also urged citizens to act “cautiously”, recalling that the last heat wave saw more than 500 deaths from heat exposure across Spain.
The President of the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, this Wednesday trusted that the personal life balance sheet after the Ateca fire is “exactly” zero, stressing that everything else “has a cure”. He has visited the area with the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez.
Lambán said that Sánchez is “very attentive and very careful” towards the Autonomous Community when disasters of this type, such as fires or floods, occur.
He commented that there could be “complications” with the fire in the afternoon and highlighted the use of public administration funds to put it out because “it is better to sin in excess than in error,” he said stressed that the mayors and councilors “are the main agents of development of the territory and when the opportunity arises they are absolutely fundamental”, as in this case.
Lambán has hinted that the mayors “didn’t sleep a wink last night” and praised the Calatayud City Council for welcoming the people who had to leave their cities.
“We do not own the designs of nature, let alone the weather, but we do have a responsibility to use resources properly and to save lives and protect city dwellers,” he said.
For his part, the Mayor of Ateca, Ramón Cristóbal, thanked the work of all the members of the firefighting teams and also the local population, who worked selflessly to put out the fire and to care for the evacuees. “It shows the solidarity of the people of this country for all catastrophes,” he argued.