Spain blocks Perpignan water bombers help extinguish wildfire south of border

Catalan government criticizes decision of not allowing the use of two French seaplanes despite European agreement

VilaWeb
VilaWeb
18.07.2021 - 12:35
Actualització: 18.07.2021 - 14:35

Joan Delort, Catalan Director General of Fire Prevention, Extinction and Rescue, has reprimanded the Spanish government for not allowing the use of two water bombers that are in Perpignan to attack the wildfire in Llançà (Costa Brava). “We got very angry” he said, adding that this issue has been going on for many years. “It’s obvious that in case of urgent need the best thing is for French water bombers to come, because they are in Perpignan and they are close to the water” continued Delort , who lamented that things get complicated when it comes to “borders” and “flags”.

The Spanish government’s deputy delegate in Girona, Albert Bramon, justified the decision to block Perpignan airtankers with the argument that it had been decided to use Spanish troops first: “We thought it would be better if we first used our own resources and not rush”. Bramon stressed that Spain had offered more resources to fight the wildfire, which at that point had burned about 416 hectares of the Alt Empordà area. The fire started to e under control on Sunday.

“Does he know the northern area of ​​Catalonia? He looks at it having no idea what the hell we’re talking about” Delort complained. The Center for Operational Coordination of Catalonia (CECAT) had already asked on Friday to use the two French water bombers, but the Spanish government offered means coming from Pollença and Zaragoza. Delort said they had also been useful, but high-capacity aircraft were most needed: “Please, we are in Europe! Resources for international support and European cooperation exist!”.

 

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