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(en) France, UCL AL #347 - Ecology, 2030 Winter Olympics: 15 days of celebration, 30 years of debt (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 16 Apr 2024 08:24:07 +0300

On November 29, to everyone's surprise, the 2030 Winter Olympics were awarded to the French Alps, the only bid ultimately accepted by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). While locally the winter sports economy shows all its limits, the announcement of these Olympic Games for 2030 goes against the economically, ecologically, socially and humanly desirable solutions for these territories. ---- Recall of facts. On November 7, 2023, the French Alps submitted a bid for the Olympic Games in 2030. Green and sustainable, innovative Olympic Games, a feat in the context of climate change. We of course imagine a complex and detailed file, but it has not been made public. November 21 is the grand oral, half an hour to explain a file of such complexity, 15 minutes of undoubtedly relevant questions and answers of immense clarity, but which have not been made public neither.

On November 29, the IOC eliminated Sweden and Switzerland, leaving only France. The reasons have, once again, not been made public (the only significant difference with the French case, in the two other cases, the final decision had to be validated by the population via a referendum...). Three files examined in two weeks. In one week, the choice is made without hesitation and excluding two other applications which were also well prepared. The speed and radicality of this decision already indicate that none of the commitments will be kept because there will be no plan B for 2030, it will be the French Alps or nothing. If they have to transport snow by helicopter or break through a glacier, they will go happily! And if that's all it was...

Because the Olympics are not just the Olympics. In addition to the opportunity to make a lot of money for the organizers, construction companies, advertisers, and a few others, but never for the States and even less for the people, with the results of previous editions or the organization of With the upcoming Paris Olympics, we can clearly see the highly problematic themes that such an event systematically involves.

The Olympics are ecological nonsense
In December, it rained up to 3000 m on a layer of snow. Previously, this phenomenon happened exceptionally in spring. The millennial winter drought caused by the cold gives way to floods which in no way make up for the ever harsher summer droughts. The climate catastrophe hits the Alps the day after the announcement that the Olympic Games will be held in 2030 with these torrential rains at altitude. It leaves villages isolated, people without electricity or drinking water, and slopes without snow. Then in spring, there is an increasingly deep thaw which leads to landslides and collapse of entire sections of the mountain. In the meantime, we are investing massively in artificial snow.

In our mountain areas where we urgently need to rethink the entire "snow industry", develop organic farming, support energy sobriety, stop the artificialization of soils, protect water resources, invent new solutions of transport, insulating housing and preparing for the consequences of climate change, we are being offered a waste wrapped in a dated prestige that interests no one except private investors and our elected officials, convinced of the benefits of green capitalism. Wanting to spend so much on sporting events reserved for a very small number, investing in sumptuary and prestige is a crazy choice as only denial can make, because skiing is well and truly over.

The Olympics are guaranteed precariousness
The results of the city of Albertville, although from another era in which our elected officials seem stuck, allow us to see the lie of positive local development following the Olympics: mass unemployment, colossal local debt, services to the population closed and explosion of the housing tax. The Crous imperatively asks students in Île-de-France to vacate their accommodation during the 2024 Olympics. For 2030, it is the precarious tenants who will be evicted, the migrants "cleaned".

Prices will increase everywhere, further precarious for residents of mountain areas already abandoned by public services and entire sectors of the economy. Fiscally, the Olympics benefit the richest. Exemption for sports federations, renunciation of the amendment which proposed an alignment of the taxation of furnished tourist rentals (Airbnb), etc. A few thousand owners are better than millions of tenants who cannot find housing. However, the priorities are quite different for the Alpine territory: allowing access to dignified and financially affordable housing for all, a dignified public health policy, quality national education, in short, using public money in the interest of taxpayers and not that of the IOC.

The Olympics are safety above all
More sneaky, the Olympics also have a heavy security aspect. Since Athens 2004, the Olympics have become the largest peacetime security operation and have systematically been a pretext for increased militarization of law enforcement. The global security law includes facial recognition, the use of drones, the automated detection of people considered "troublesome", the existence of "augmented" police officers, the mobilization of private security and the extension of its prerogatives. . The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, indicates that all this must be ready and authorized so that the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are a place for the promotion and amplification of security technologies, under the guise of guaranteeing security. High tech companies and certain elected officials are rubbing their hands: this will be an opportunity to take lucrative markets to control the populations at hand. However, these security technologies are in no way necessary to stop terrorism or serious crime, they are above all the means of controlling the entire population, treating everyone as a potential criminal. In the coming years, we expect to see the barriers to what protects us against surveillance and generalized police control come down.

The Olympics are above all a formidable field of struggle
It is not too late to take charge of this fight. The Olympics no longer have any meaning, neither here nor elsewhere. They are the showcase of the old world which pushes us towards the abyss, of its authoritarian drift, of its class contempt. 50 years ago, the city of Denver said no to the Olympic Games which had already been awarded to it. We have six years left to transform this candidacy into a standard-bearer of capitalist and liberal aberration.

Wanted (UCL Grenoble)

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