P3 laboratory project in Andorra: opponents fear an earthquake

the essential On 11 October, Andorra recorded an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 according to the measurement of France Séisme. The seismic risk is now pointed out by opponents of the P3 laboratory project of Grifols, a Spanish pharmaceutical group whose name has also been mentioned in the Pandora Papers.

Perched in the Valira del Nord, Ordino is destined to become the first Unesco biosphere reserve in Andorra. Power of nature … It is also in this cross-border sector that a shock with a magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale was recorded by France Séisme on Monday 11 October. And an earthquake which has revived in the Principality the problem of the P3 laboratory project (class 3 pathogen) that the Andorran government and the Grifols pharmaceutical group want to establish in… Ordino.

“Here we are talking about an earthquake of 4.5, but if we imagine an earthquake of a greater magnitude, at 6 or 7 on the Richter scale, what will be the consequences for the populations in the event of significant material damage and possible pathogen leaks? It will be a disaster “, estimates the parliamentarian Carine Montaner, opposed to the creation of this” major pole of research in immunology “, according to the government and the industrialist who signed a partnership for this project.

On 30 last September, Carine Montaner had already filed an appeal to request the annulment of this shareholders’ agreement. According to her, it would be tainted with an “abuse of power”, the Parliament not having been consulted, and biased by Grifols who could dictate to Andorra a bioethics law cut to its liking, she accuses. Head of government, Xavier Espot for his part assured by presenting the project that he would respect all the rules concerning ethics, health and the environment.

But beyond the legal debate was also added this early October “an image problem for Grifols and the principality, with the“ Pandora Papers ”. “The brothers Víctor and Raimon Grifols are also among the ‘top 10’ of the richest in Spain, the laboratories being among the world’s largest producers of blood plasma. In this case, there are at least three “offshore” based in the British Virgin Islands. But their opaque framework is a little more complex because its management also passes through Andorra ”, thus summarizes the Spanish television La Sexta.

“While the principality wants to shed its image of tax haven, how can we defend the establishment of Grifols knowing that this group would have used Andorra in its tax evasion scheme, according to the Pandora Papers? “, Ask the opponents. “I still don’t understand what Grifols is coming to do in Andorra,” says Jordi Font, former president of the Legislative Finance Commission, elected from the opposition and today president of the Health Commission.

But questions that also face another part of Andorran opinion for which the principality is all the more condemned to bet on new technologies and foreign investors as the Covid crisis has finished weakening its economic model. Asked about Carine Montaner’s appeal and the Grifols case in the Pandora Papers, the government of Andorra replied: “the Grifols immunology research project is a priority, as has already been publicly stated on several occasions. We have nothing more to add on this subject. “

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