Skiers in Andorra.
Kike Calvo / VWPic / Superstock / Sipa
Andorra will not open its ski slopes before the beginning of January, the head of government Xavier Espot said on Thursday evening.
The Pyrenean principality displays “a desire for loyalty towards most European countries, especially France”.
This news is a blow to a country very dependent on tourism.
Anxious to prevent the French from going skiing abroad during the Christmas holidays, when the country's ski lifts are at a standstill, Prime Minister Jean Castex can breathe a bit.
This Thursday evening, during a press conference, the head of government of Andorra announced that the stations of the small Pyrenean principality would remain closed at least until the beginning of January.
Relayed by RTVA, the radio and television broadcasting of this country of 77,000 inhabitants, Xavier Espot spoke of a decision "difficult and painful" but which "is necessary in the current circumstances".
🔴 # últimahora #coronavirus # covid19
👉Espot anuncia que es prorroga the obertura of the fine tracks, com a mínim, principis del mes de gener.
🗣️Una decisió that qualifica of "difícil i dolorosa" that "prevailed in the actual circumstances".
Defensa that "és la millor decisió".
- RTVA (@rtvandorra) December 3, 2020
Andorra has also displayed “a desire for loyalty towards most European countries, especially France”.
The President of the Republic is in fact the co-prince of this micro-state, which has also declared three days of national mourning after the death of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.
The ski areas of Granvalira, Ordino-Arcalis and Vallnord were initially due to open this Friday, before a first postponement
This decision represents a very hard blow for Andorra.
According to Xavier Espot, tourism weighs "directly 20% of the GDP and indirectly 40%".
“43% of employees” in the country depend on this sector.
Spain in doubt
The start of the winter season in the Spanish Pyrenees is also on hold.
The government of Catalonia paused its deconfinement process this Thursday, in the face of the recent rise in cases of Covid-19.
Following this decision, Baqueira-Beret, the largest ski area in Spain, must communicate this Friday on its opening date, for the moment set for December 11.
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