Silvia Moreno Seville


Updated Monday, February 19, 2024-17:21

The agreement between the central government and the Junta de Andalucía on Doñana that both administrations sealed last November is in danger, after almost two years of hostilities over the controversial law that the Andalusian Parliament was going to approve and that would increase the irrigated area by around

700 hectares

in the northern area of ​​the protected area. After the pact, that law was buried and million-dollar investments were announced in the area.

Now, the complaint by the Andalusian PSOE about the alleged intentions of the Andalusian Government of Juanma Moreno to declare

forest lands in the Northern Crown of Doñana as arable

, as provided for in the controversial discarded law, has put the third vice president and Minister for the Transition on guard. Ecological, Teresa Ribera.

Given the complaint from the PSOE-A, which the Andalusian Government has quickly


, Vice President Ribera decided this Monday

to suspend the meetings

on Doñana scheduled for this Tuesday in Seville with mayors of the area, technical teams and agricultural organizations.

Ribera had planned to inform him this afternoon of the president of the Andalusian Government, Juanma Moreno, of the suspension of this day, in which the Secretary of State for the Environment,

Hugo Morán

, was going to meet with the mayors of the Doñana area. This meeting is part of the agreement reached between the central government and the Board in November.

The complaint of the PSOE-A

The controversy has arisen after the PSOE-A complaint about the recently approved

administrative simplification decree-law

. Through this decree, the Andalusian Government could, according to the socialists, declare forest lands in the Northern Crown of Doñana as arable. Precisely this measure was included in the law that the Andalusian Parliament was going to approve, but it was discarded after the agreement sealed by the Junta and the Government.

The Andalusian Government said this Monday that it is

"flatly false"

that it wants to recover the law on irrigation in the Doñana area through the administrative simplification decree and has defended that it is limited to adapting the Andalusian forest law to the state law and that "At no time is there talk of irrigation or Doñana."

However, the minister has admitted that she is concerned about what she has seen and that she has "found it" published in the Official Gazette of the Government of Andalusia

"by surprise"

. She explained that the Government had "no idea" that a modification of this type was being made, so it must be taken "with great caution."

"I want to understand what has happened. I do not feel in a position to know what is in front of us and I deeply regret it," said the minister, who insisted that she does not know what is "ahead" or "what The effect of this

retroactive legalization

is contained in the administrative simplification decree.

For Vice President Ribera, it is "very difficult" to work to reduce pressure on Doñana, to dedicate a "very notable" volume of resources, to seek consensus with all those involved and to find herself, "faced" with that, "from one day to the next "there is a retroactive legalization of agricultural uses on forest land."

The matter is pending analysis by the Ministry's legal services, but the minister has indicated that she is "surprised" to have "found it" like this, "without having been able to exchange opinions."

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco) had called for this Tuesday the

14 municipalities

in the area of ​​influence of Doñana to address the distribution of funds contemplated for them by the framework agreement reached between the central government and the Board of Andalusia in November. The meeting was scheduled at 5:00 p.m. in the Patio de Banderas in Seville and was attended by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

In addition, it was expected that the minister and the president of the Board, Juanma Moreno, would meet this Thursday at the San Telmo Palace in Seville, to address the drought situation, without it being revealed whether this meeting will be held or whether it will also be suspended. .

Forest legislation

Sources from the Andalusian Government have explained that one of the measures provided for in the administrative simplification decree is the adaptation of Andalusian forestry legislation to that of the state, something that "the Ministry has known about for a long time and even the text has been discussed with them in various meetings", according to the Board, which has stressed that the Andalusian administration "

does not act

in this case unilaterally or

with its back to anyone


This is a measure that "has nothing to do with water or the authorization of irrigation" nor with Doñana, since it is an "adaptation of Andalusian law to the state law and affects various surfaces in Andalusia."

The legal modification promoted by the Board means that if someone had

agricultural land

and decided to put a short-cycle forest species, such as eucalyptus or poplars, they can revert to agricultural use, as the State regulation says, and until now in Andalusia it was not possible. "This does not mean at all that you have the right to water if you did not have it until now," the Andalusian Government has stressed.

The Minister of the Presidency,

Antonio Sanz

, spoke this Monday morning with the Secretary of State Hugo Morán to clarify that the complaint by the PSOE of Andalusia is "absolutely" true.

Given the confusion caused by the interpretation of article 244 of the latest administrative simplification decree, the Board has indicated that it trusts in dialogue and agreement, "as we have always been doing." On the part of the Government of Andalusia "there is no problem in sitting down" with the Ministry, listening to its proposal and finding a formula for writing the article. "

It will take us two minutes

to agree," they stressed.

The complaint of the PSOE-A

Meanwhile, the Andalusian PSOE has demanded that the Board's simplification decree be withdrawn and presented as a bill in order to improve a rule that, at this time, makes

the agreement reached with the Government of Spain

"fly through the air."

on Doñana and opens the door to

privatization and speculator

processes .

The deputy spokesperson of the PSOE-A and secretary of Political Communication,

Josele Aguilar

, warned this Monday that it is "absolutely unacceptable" that this procedure is carried out as a decree despite the fact that its urgency is not justified. "It is another


of Moreno Bonilla, who also uses it as an omnibus decree in the Milei style, introducing rules that have nothing to do with administrative simplification," he pointed out.

Aguilar has considered that the "most flagrant and unacceptable" case is that he once again puts the Doñana bill

through the "back door"

, literally copying its content in the new decree, despite the fact that Moreno had agreed with the Government of Spain its withdrawal.

This represents "an act of impudence and


towards the Government of Spain", according to the socialist parliamentarian, who does not understand why Moreno once again places Doñana in the "eye of the hurricane" including


the possibility of transforming the farms. from forestry to agricultural.

Ecologists criticize the Board

Ecologists in Action considers that the Andalusian Government with the regulatory simplification decree commits "a textbook example of institutional disloyalty", after just three months ago "we all congratulated ourselves on the signing of the Agreement for Doñana because we were recovering the dialogue."

In statements to Efe, the spokesperson for Ecologistas en Acción in the Doñana Participation Council, Juan Romero, indicated that "the facts are showing that this agreement was a farce."

The PSOE-A has denounced this Monday that the Andalusian Government has recovered, through the decree-law of administrative simplification, the initiative to declare forest lands in the Northern Crown of Doñana as arable, a measure that contemplated the controversial bill of the PP and that was discarded after the agreement reached between the Board and the Government.

"The simplification decree is not focused on the elimination of absurd bureaucracy but rather on smoothing out and eliminating filters for all types of businesses without participation or transparency," said Romero, adding that "they never thought about withdrawing the proposal of "Irrigation Improvement Law of the Northern Crown of Doñana".

In his opinion, by virtue of this decree, "what they are doing is the same but with other legal formulas. The Board knows that forest lands cannot be changed to agricultural lands because it would lower environmental guarantees and violate the principle of not regression".

"In addition to compensation of up to 100,000 euros for the withdrawal of an irrigated hectare, they are seeking to increase the irrigated agricultural area, that is, short cycle species such as eucalyptus, between about 700 and 800 hectares located mainly in the terms of Lucena and Moguer would automatically become irrigable agricultural land," he denounced.

For its part, WWF has denounced that the Board, with its new administrative simplification decree, reduces the environmental protection of the forest areas of Doñana and "opens the door to amnesty" for illegal farmers who occupy these lands.

The organization, through a statement, has indicated that "with the excuse of adapting Andalusian regulations to the state regulations, this Decree-Law, in a clear example of arbitrariness, applies retroactivity to it, without technical justification or participation. public".

With the modification of this rule, the agricultural lands located in the Doñana area that, today, are considered forestry and that have been illegally transformed from short-shift forestry to agricultural, "will be amnestied and the land will be considered agricultural instead of being restored, being able to continue developing its activity until today considered illegal," according to WWF.

In this way, thanks to article 242 of this Decree-Law, the land that currently has an open sanctioning file could request its archive and avoid the sanction, since it would be considered agricultural.

In this way, the Junta de Andalucía substantially modifies its forestry law through a Decree-Law whose necessity and urgency is "totally questionable" and "thus avoiding public participation and the relevant technical reports, so the "number of forest hectares that will be affected, their current state, their importance for Doñana."