Last Monday, July 29, the president of the Society of Festivities of the Most Holy Christ of the Agony of Ontinyent, Vicent Pla and his vice president, Javier Ureña, met with Felipe Carrasco, regional deputy in the Valencian Courts, and Joan Sanchis, deputy of the Vall d’Albaida in the Diputación de Valencia, to transfer them the problem about the distribution, storage and use of gunpowder during the festive events, as well as asking them to defend the interests of the Fiesta in the Valencian institutions. The two political representatives supported the demands of the institution, and will transfer these to the different chambers.
On January 1, the regulation of explosives, Supplementary Technical Instruction No. 26, which refers to the festive demonstrations with the use of advancing weapons, entered into force. Before, at the end of last year, the Ontinyent Festeros Society had presented a motion to the City Council to request support for all the actions of the different party societies, such as the shooting of trabucos, because it is a tradition that, according to considers the institution, “should be protected.”
On the morning of last Monday, in the framework of this meeting with Carrasco and Sanchis, they were asked to submit a motion to modify the text of said Complementary Technical Instruction No. 26. The intention is to obtain a reasonable extension of the possession of gunpowder. , which is stored by the active participants for a maximum period that goes between the three days prior to the start of the Festival and the beginning of the last act of arcabucería. Currently, the regulations mark 72 hours if there are less than 500 active participants, and 96 hours if they are more. Likewise, it is requested that the transfer of gunpowder be allowed to be carried out in the same private homes in the account of doing so at the place of distribution, to avoid the accumulation of a large amount of gunpowder in a single location. In the same way, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism is requested to establish the necessary conditions to guarantee the free concurrence of the sufficient number of companies that can assume the manufacture, storage and distribution of gunpowder, so that prices are the desirable in an open and orderly competition regime.
Vicent Pla, president of the Ontinyent Festeros Society: “What we want is a solution to the problem of gunpowder. I think we are lucky to have two representatives of Ontinyent and Vall d’Albaida in two of the most important institutions of the Valencian Community, such as the Diputación and the Cortes, and we want them to transfer our voice as public representatives. We ask that the regulation of explosives be reviewed and fundamentally the three points: the issue of the transfer, the issue of 72 hours or 92 hours, other than by the number of active participants, and to favor that companies can commercialize gunpowder.”
Felipe Carrasco, regional deputy in the Valencian Courts: “We have heard the needs that the festival of Moors and Christians of Ontinyent has in relation to the distribution and storage of gunpowder for the acts they need during the holidays. From the popular parliamentary group in the Cortes we are delighted to collaborate to find solutions that make it easier to access and distribute that gunpowder for the Ontinyent festeros, and that will modify the current 2017 restrictive law than the one he is doing, and this is how it has been seen in recent years, it is that with these restrictions, partiers have more difficult access to gunpowder. There is even a year-on-year increase in the price of gunpowder. For that reason, we will hold a meeting with our regional deputy of the popular group to the Valencian Cortes to study the possibility of doing some parliamentary action from the Cortes, tending to be able to modify or urge the government of the nation to adapt those regulations, so that, while maintaining safety, which is the first thing, the use and possession of gunpowder can be made more accessible on holidays, by partying parties and thus facilitate the task of the Festeros Society.”
Joan Sanchis, deputy from Vall d’Albaida to the Diputación de Valencia: “As a deputy in the Diputación representing both Vall d’Albaida and Ontinyent, we will be 100% next to the Festeros Society. We support all the demands that its president has presented to us, and we put ourselves at the service of the institution to defend its interests.“