Beyond the controversy generated this week in Pamplona about who is in charge of announcing the suspension or convocation of the Sanfermines after the statements of the president of Navarra, María Chivite, in which acknowledged that “it will not be possible” to celebrate festivals like those of San Fermín In a health situation such as that currently being experienced by Navarra and Spain, the mayor of Pamplona, Enrique Maya (Navarra Suma), has been clear when stating that, despite the fact that Sanfermines can be suspended, he would like to see they could celebrate some activities such as bullfights, in which the City Council assures “is already working”.
150 million euros: the cost for Pamplona of suspending Sanfermines
In statements collected by the EFE agency, the mayor acknowledges that “things would have to change a lot” to be able to celebrate this year festivals such as San Fermín, which each year attract more than a million people to the city of Pamplona , many of them tourists from abroad. However, Enrique Maya assures that he has the “hope” that in July the situation of the pandemic will be better and some acts can be carried out. In the mind of the mayor is being able to celebrate bullfights, which he says would make him “very excited” not only for him, but also for the bull sector, “which is going through many difficulties,” he says. Maya also trusts that in the current situation the bullfighters would be in a “disposition to enable bullfights with less capacity.” “Putting everyone on your side, why can’t they be done?”
The mayor points out that the celebration of some activities during the week of July 6 to 14, although the Sanfermines are suspended, would help sectors such as the hospitality industry, which suffers the greatest impact of a hypothetical suspension of the festivities, to minimize the damages. Maya assures that many businesses in Pamplona “go on living throughout the year because in Sanfermines they have a push”, and that canceling the festivities is “terrible for them”. The last study carried out by the consistory in 2006 estimated the economic impact of the Sanfermines in the coffers of the city of Pamplona at 76 million euros. A figure that more recent studies, such as one from ANOET, they go up to 150 million euros, taking into account the increasing influx of foreign tourists at parties.
In order for shows such as bullfights to be held with an audience in the stands, the Pamplona City Council must have the approval of the Department of Health, who last year insisted on the importance of not holding any act that implied the meeting of large groups of people, taking into account that the parties were suspended. However, in what have been known as the “no Sanfermines” 2020 there were several outbreaks of coronavirus, originating in the traditional lunches of the gangs and other celebrations. The largest, detected in the Pamplona neighborhood of Mendillorri with more than 500 infections, It forced the Government of Navarra to return the entire neighborhood to phase 2, which was practically confined. In addition, Health had to carry out a screening of PCR tests on all the young people in the area, the majority age group in the infections.