Reports: Spanish government refuses to negotiate with Alinghi before court decision in NY
After exactly 470 days without holding a meeting, representatives from the three Spanish public administrations, sat down together in Valencia on Wednesday afternoon and during 4 hours discussed the contract Alinghi presented for the organization of 2 regattas in Valencia, in July and October of this year.
As it has been the case in the past, the meeting was just another example of the divide that exists between the three parties and the difficulty in reaching a consensus. On the one hand, the city and regional government of Valencia, that always work in tandem, and on the other hand the Spanish central government.
Elena Salgado, minister of Public Affairs, argued that Alinghi's demand for a 20-million euro host-city fee is "exorbitant". In addition, she also considers "abusive" a number of other clauses, such as the veto to the participation of BMW Oracle in such races, the demand by ACM for the city to build 7 more bases in a short time or the veto to any commercial activity (during the regattas) that doesn't form part of the official organization.
As a result, the central government will withdraw from any further negotiations in order to hold the 33rd America's Cup in Valencia, until there is a firm decision from the Court of Appeals in New York. According to the minister, the central government would be willing to take into consideration the payment of 20 million euros, only if these 2 regattas formed part of the 33rd America's Cup. That means, only if Alinghi wins the legal dispute. In that case, the central government would be willing "to pay even more, if necessary". If BMW Oracle prevails in the court, the commercial value of these 2 regattas will be significantly smaller, according to the minister.
For her it is "inconceivable" to sign such a contract with a court decision pending and by doing so the government would be taking sides in the dispute. She also expressed her disapproval of ACM's demand to give BMW Oracle a 60-day deadline to abandon their base in Valencia, in case they lose the court case.
On the other hand, always according to the same sources, the city and the regional government are willing to sit with Alinghi and negotiate the contract, in view of the economic windfall for Valencia. It is more than clear that these 2 public administrations would do whatever it takes to hold these 2 regattas in Valencia, regardless of the outcome of the legal dispute. Nevertheless, Valencia's mayor stated that the contract presented by Alinghi was just a "preliminary draft" and that "they can demand anything they want but everything has to be negotiated".