Iberianature Forum

los monegros

  • 89 Replies
  • 65151 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« on: December 13, 2007, 10:07 AM »
Today’s El Pais has an article about the macroprojecto in Los Monegros.  The mind boggles:

Quote
De la arena surgirán 32 casinos, 70 hoteles, 232 restaurantes, 500 comercios, un campo de golf, un hipódromo, una plaza de toros, un cámping, réplicas de las pirámides egipcias, de los templos romanos y hasta una del Pentágono que servirá de hotel para Spyland, un parque temático sobre el espionaje.

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/espana/Monegros/tierra/espias/casinos/elpepuesp/20071213elpepinac_14/Tes

What’s most surprising in this affair is that they are only planning one golf course.

Quote
El Gobierno aragonés y los promotores confían en llenarlo con 25 millones de visitantes por año a partir de 2015, es decir, más de la mitad del total de turistas que recibió España en 2006.

Millions of people heading to Los Monegros from all over the world? Just can’t imagine it.  The constructors will make their fortune, that’s for sure. 

Offline Spanish Footsteps

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 263
    • Spanish Footsteps
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2007, 11:22 AM »
No doubt they will build this next to beautiful crumbling villages.  As they seem to do everywhere, they should rejuvenate not develop.

Surely there are not that many people who lay golf, is there?

Besides if I wanted to play golf, there is enough topo holes in the garden, dont need a golf course.

Alfredo
Discover the culturally rich province of Soria with Spanish Footsteps.
We provide unique walking holidays in Northern Spain.
For lovers of Nature, History and Culture.

www.spanishfootsteps.com

Unique walking holidays in Northern Spain

Offline Technopat

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 3020
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2007, 12:38 PM »
Thanx (?) for that, Lucy.
I heard it on RNE and they mentioned campos de golf as opposed to one. Anyone know where the copy of the press release can be found?

Now we know why in Aragón they were all so eager to repartir el pastel (En. anyone?) reach agreements after the last elections ...

Just for the record, Madrid's Warner Bros. Park (which has cost us contribuyentes (En. anyone?) a fortune in direct and indirect subsidies) is/has been from the first moment a total disaster ...

And then, of course, there's Zaplana's Terra Mítica (the following is just one account chosen at random, but which basically explains the situation for the Newbies http://www.nodo50.org/tortuga/article.php3?id_article=1002) ...

Ah, well ...
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline nick

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 1948
    • Iberianature
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2007, 14:27 PM »
Have you seen the image of the plan? Staggering

I put this news feed on the blog last week

SEO sees Las Vegas II mega-casino project completely environmentally incompatible with the conservation of Los Monegros steppes, one of the most important natural areas in Aragon.
http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog/2007/12/03/seo-sees-las-vegas-ii-project-incompatible-with-los-monegros/

To which somebody responded and I forgot to follow up:

Hi all,

A quick word to say I can’t believe it the local government is going to go ahead with this horrible project. Not only the whole thing is terrible for the environment but also according to the papers they expect thousands of people -gamblers I’d say- each year who I presume are going to either fly over or drive round to get there. How bad is that?

Does anybody know whether there’s a web site set up to sign against it?

Thank you,
jordi

Hi Jordi, I’ll post your comments on the forum and see if we can find a petition
Cheers
Nick
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2007, 08:52 AM »
I was talking to people about this yesterday, and while the general opinion is that it’s a monstrous folly, the consolation is that it’s only going to affect an area where nobody goes, an unappealing wasteland, too vast for this project to destroy anyway. Clearly its value as a natural area has never been promoted. Has anyone visited Los Monegros?

Offline Technopat

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 3020
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2007, 12:53 PM »
Greetings All,
Whether or not it is currently a wasteland does not decrease the ecological impact it will undoubtedly have on water resources*, air pollution, future carbon footprints and whatnot ...

*My father-in-law has two water wells (illegally drilled) and uses them as the excuse for being able to water his extensive lawn twice a day in summer - in parched Toledo territory. Long ago I toyed with the idea of letting moles loose, but the huge quantities of toxic stuff he'd spray to protect his lovely lawn would offset the damage caused by low levels of aquifers. Technopat even gave up praying that Seprona would come around and fine him if there were to be rationing, 'cos he'd only intensify his consumption with the self-righteousness of nobody can tell him what he can or cannot do on his own land and if any one thinks they can come along and ..., etc. etc.
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Simon

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2007, 17:40 PM »
Yes, I saw th article yesterday and it's pretty depressing stuff.

I looked up the issue on the El Pais website and foud a lot of protest articles, so a trawl through these may find some liks to protest groups.

The plan itself didn't come out on the web version, but it didn't seem to include a public transport infrastructure of any kid, sadder still as the site lies between three AVE ststions; Huesca, Lleida and Zaragossa - an opportunity lost!

I wanted to start a post asking about the strategy of environmentalist action; it seems that at this stage there may be scope for constructive lobbying as opposed to total opposition. I know I'm naive . . . .

Depressed

Simon

Offline Technopat

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 3020
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2007, 20:51 PM »
Greetings All,
Just for the record, and to clear my guilty conscience, I want to apologise to any iberianatureforumers and/or Guests living in or related to Aragón who may have felt molesto@s by my irresponsible mistake in insinuating they were so eager to repartir el pastel because of the Los Monegros thing - sorry!  :santa_embarrassed:

Of course, when referring to the complicated negotiations to form a regional government, I meant to say the politicians of the Comunidad Foral de Navarra - Nafarroako Foru Komunitatea, which of course has no relationship to Los Monegros.

Apologetic regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 3020
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2007, 21:00 PM »
Greetings Simon,
Sorry I by-passed you just now - had to urgently rectify a humdinger  :santa_embarrassed: . And sorry to see you depressed. Unfortunately, yours truly is not el mas adecuado (En. anyone?) to cheer you up on this particular issue ...

Just-as-depressed-as-Simon regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline nick

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 1948
    • Iberianature
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2007, 10:32 AM »
I take it TP you father-in-law is not an avid reader of IbNatF.

Here's the Guadian's take on the story:

The Guardian’s take on the story
http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,,2227982,00.html

In the Spanish desert, a rival to Las Vegas

· €17bn casino complex expects 25m visitors a year
· Site should be a protected nature reserve, say critics

Europe’s largest casino complex, second in the world behind Las Vegas, is to be built in one of the driest regions of Spain, with the project’s investors saying they hope to attract 25 million visitors a year.
Gran Scala will eventually contain 32 casinos, 70 hotels, 232 restaurants and 500 shops, alongside replicas of Egyptian pyramids and Roman temples. There will even be a copy of the Pentagon - which will serve as a hotel in Spyland, a theme park dedicated to all things 007. And, because this is Spain, there will be a bullring.

The complex will be built on 2,000 hectares (4,943 acres) of steppe in Los Monegros, Aragón. Developers say it will open by 2015. The British-based consortium, International Leisure Development (ILD), settled on east Spain after plans to build in Dubai and France fell through. Millions of euros are being spent on nearby Zaragoza, improving its transport connections in time for next year’s World Expo, making it the ideal location, according to ILD.
The regional government gave the go-ahead to the €17bn (£12.1bn) Gran Scala, arguing that the site is desert, where nothing grows, and that it is ripe for construction.

But Greenpeace disagrees. It accuses the Aragón government of dishonesty in the way it has presented the project, arguing that the land is a rich nature reserve that should be protected, not built upon.

“Los Monegros is a place of great natural biodiversity, with a huge range of species from Africa and Asia that have been very well conserved over the last five million years,” said Julio Barea of Greenpeace. “In the last five years alone, 200 new species have been discovered there.

“In any other country, it would be a national park, strictly protected. What the politicians in Aragón are doing is shameful - telling voters that there is nothing there worth protecting, when it is in fact a zone rich in animal and plant life.”

The comparison with Las Vegas is more apt than the developers realise, said Barea. The demands of the casinos, hotels and houses in Las Vegas are causing the Colorado river to run dry. “Over here, in one of the driest regions of Spain, where will we get all the water to supply Gran Scala?”

ILD and the local government deny the complex will cause environmental damage. At the launch of the project in Zaragoza this week, the vice-president of the region, José Angel Biel, said: “This is a very important day for Aragón. Gran Scala is a great hope … We couldn’t let the opportunity pass.”

It believes that the projected 25 million visitors a year, 80% of whom are expected to come from outside Spain, will bring in €600m in taxes annually for the region.

Central government could also receive around €1bn in tax a year thanks to a relaxing of gambling regulations this year.

Zaragoza airport is a hub in the low-cost air network, and only two-hours’ flight from Stansted airport, north of London. ILD hopes to attract millions of Britons each year, particularly as the prime minister, Gordon Brown, has put plans for a super-casino in Manchester on hold.

But many believe the projected number of visitors for Gran Scala is wildly exaggerated, representing half of the total number of people who visit Spain each year. In Aragón, the leftwing party Izquierda Unida (IU) is leading the opposition to the casino complex, worried not just by the potential environmental damage but also the glorification of mass consumerism and Las Vegas-style gambling.

“I do not understand what is happening,” said Adolfo Barrena, the general coordinator of IU in Aragón. “We appear to be the spoilsports but we believe this plan is a disaster.”

ILD is unable to give the exact location of Gran Scala as the land has yet to be bought.

Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2007, 12:58 PM »
Quote
Zaragoza airport is a hub in the low-cost air network, and only two-hours’ flight from Stansted airport, north of London. ILD hopes to attract millions of Britons each year, particularly as the prime minister, Gordon Brown, has put plans for a super-casino in Manchester on hold.

It's sure to be a big hit with the stag-night parties then.  And the locals are happy at the prospect of jobs – serving those mobs, what a life.  If it were a Spielberg film there would be an earthquake and the whole den of iniquity would be swallowed up in a final apocalyptic scene.  I feel like a puritan just thinking about it.

Offline John C

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
    • Birding in Cadiz Province
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2007, 17:59 PM »
I saw the article in today's "Guardian" and very depressing it was too!   The projected figures  - 25 million visitors p.a. €600m in taxes annually - seem so absurdly fanciful that it's hard to credit that anyone would take them seriously.   I can understand why the scheme's backers seem to be ignoring the problems of water supply in such an arid region, but I can think of only one reason why the local government should be so cavalier .....
John


Offline nick

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 1948
    • Iberianature
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2007, 13:57 PM »
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline Steve West

  • *
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 99
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2008, 20:36 PM »
I was talking to people about this yesterday, and while the general opinion is that it’s a monstrous folly, the consolation is that it’s only going to affect an area where nobody goes, an unappealing wasteland, too vast for this project to destroy anyway. Clearly its value as a natural area has never been promoted. Has anyone visited Los Monegros?

I'm what you might call a regular at Los Monegros. With birds like Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Dupont's Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Little Bustard, Great Bustard (relict population), Lesser Kestrel, Great Spotted Cuckoo and a whole lot more it could hardly be otherwise.
I've taken a good number of birding groups to the Monegros, at sites near Bujaraloz and Candasnos (see the itineraries on my web page at Birdinginspain.com - and for once I'm not mentioning it for publicity purposes!). It's a unique place for anyone with a naturalist's eye, and parts of Los Monegros have a large number of endemic insects, and god-knows-how-old yew trees. In fact one of the chapters of my latest book "Flying over the Pyrenees, standing on the plains" is based on my experiences in the area.
One of the drawbacks of taking bird tours to this area is the distinct lack of quality rural accommodation, most places are truckers haunts and unsuitable for the average bird tour participant. This fact probably accentuates the impression that there is nothing of value for anyone in the area.
If it goes ahead the Gran Scala project will be an environmental aggression of the first order. Just think about
(i) Water (and with Expo Zaragoza 2008!)
(ii) Greenhouse gas emissions (I've never been to Las Vegas and I don't want to after the things I've seen on TV)
(iii) Loss of biodiversity (to infrastructure and disturbance)
(iv)immigration - not an environmental problem? Who are the jobs for? The local inhabitants?
(Sorry if I'm repeating what I've just seen in other later posts)

The Monegros represents a unique and valuable ecosystem which is supposedly protected under European Union law.
This project should not be allowed to go ahead under any concept.

Steve
http://www.birdinginspain.com
http://flyingoverthepyrenees.info
Birds and Birding Tours in north-east Spain
www.birdinginspain.com

My latest book. Part travelogue, part memoir, part ornithology, Steve West’s engaging story of a young man seeking adventure and enlightenment in a foreign land
www.flyingoverthepyrenees.info

Offline Steve West

  • *
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 99
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 12:00 PM »
I've just been pointed to a couple of sources of info on the Monegros:

http://www.granscalablog.com

and

http://losmonegrosnosevenden.blogspot.com

Recently the plataforma Stop Gran Scala has been formed, and they plan to publish a manifest and hold a public act in Zaragoza on the 7th February.

No to Sin City II

Steve
Birds and Birding Tours in north-east Spain
www.birdinginspain.com

My latest book. Part travelogue, part memoir, part ornithology, Steve West’s engaging story of a young man seeking adventure and enlightenment in a foreign land
www.flyingoverthepyrenees.info

Offline lisa

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 2439
    • Accommodation and Activities in the Picos de Europa
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2008, 07:36 AM »
Could the area be saved by a butterfly? Apparently there are only two sites in Spain where the Greenish black-tip, Euchloe (Elphinstonia) charlonia is found, one near the Sierra de Baza in Andalucia and the other, Los Monegros.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline Steve West

  • *
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 99
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2008, 16:58 PM »
That would be another grain of sand for the environmentalists' case, although if the presence of Great Bustard does not merit a mention then I'm not sure what power a butterfly would have to sway the argument.

Steve 
Birds and Birding Tours in north-east Spain
www.birdinginspain.com

My latest book. Part travelogue, part memoir, part ornithology, Steve West’s engaging story of a young man seeking adventure and enlightenment in a foreign land
www.flyingoverthepyrenees.info

Offline lisa

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 2439
    • Accommodation and Activities in the Picos de Europa
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2008, 15:14 PM »
Now you're just being sizest Steve. Try throwing the odd bear or two in and seeing if it makes any difference (probably not.) Looks like opposition is mobilising anyway.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline Steve West

  • *
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 99
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2008, 16:52 PM »
Then we could tell them the bear truth, and make the politicians' lives unbearable!? ::)

More seriously, opposition does seem to be getting to its feet, and when available I would like to pass on a manifest for ALL Iberianature forum members to sign!
Birds and Birding Tours in north-east Spain
www.birdinginspain.com

My latest book. Part travelogue, part memoir, part ornithology, Steve West’s engaging story of a young man seeking adventure and enlightenment in a foreign land
www.flyingoverthepyrenees.info

Offline lisa

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 2439
    • Accommodation and Activities in the Picos de Europa
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2008, 12:25 PM »
Just seen on Gran Scala a Debate that David Hammerstein is backing the opposition. And here's where they plan to get the water from - new reservoirs in the Pyrenees;

"Desde el punto de vista ambiental ha afirmado que el impacto de Gran Scala se extendería incluso al Pirineo, donde los valles se verían afectados por embalses para abastecer de agua al complejo de ocio y juego."

There doesn't appear to be an online petition yet. How about someone starting one in English and Spanish? I'm sure all of us with websites/blogs would link to it.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.