The BCN Word mega-project south of Barcelona, including hotels, casinos, golf courses, a theme park, and residential developments, is reportedly moving forward with local political support, in contrast to the the Eurovegas project in Madrid that recently foundered on political disunity between the main parties in the Capital’s autonomous region.
Local political support in Catalonia for BCN World was recently illustrated by an agreement between the regional Government, or Generalitat, run by President Artur Mas’s CiU party, and the opposition Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC), head by Pere Navarro, to support the project. CiU and the PSC are two of the biggest political parties in Catalonia.
BCN World is a strategic development for the Tarragona and Costa Dorada region incorporating the Port Aventura theme park. As a flagship tourism project, it will help create jobs and economic growth to help the region consolidate its recovery, say its promoters at Veremonte, the company behind the project headed by Enrique Bañuelos, the poster-child of the Spanish property boom.
The recent political agreement in Catalonia is aimed at clarifying regulations on gambling, money laundering, and project financing, to facilitate the development of BCN World, which also benefits from the support of Caixa Bank, the regional banking behemoth.
New regulations will limit the use of cash and gambling-credit to comply with international rules against money-laundering, and the hotels with casinos will have to charge their clients the full rate tourist tax.
Political support for BCN World in Catalonia is not, however, 100 per cent. Despite the support of CiU and the PSC, regional left-wing parties and ecologists are opposing the project to different degrees. Some in Barcelona also grumble that a project 110 kilometres south in Tarragona province has no business being named after the Catalan Capital.