Demonstrations have begun around the Canary Islands against the decision to authorise Repsol to start oil exploration off the coast of the Canary Islands. The president of the Canarian Government, Paulino Rivero, is said to be ‘very pleased’ with the outcome of Saturday’s demonstrations against oil exploration and went on to criticise the Mariano Rajoys Partido Popular government.
On his personal blog he said the following :
“The Partido Popular government has turned their back on the general interest of the Islands.
With unprecedented public participation, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura have given a loud and clear ‘no to oil exploration, yes to renewable energy’. In Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro thousands of Canarians have joined as one voice with the eastern islands in not allowing the central government to take precedence over the profits of a multinational general interest in the Canaries.
People organising and taking part in the demonstrations claim that Saturday’s protests do not end there, far from it. “Those who think so are mistaken, the Canaries have mobilised in defense of a model of responsible, safe and friendly environment. Mobilised against drilling, against activities that threaten our development model and our progress”.
City councils, councils, Government and Parliament, business associations and social groups have one voice “we are against oil exploration”.
The State Government is wrong and will probably now quietly admit it. So we will use all means at our disposal to stop this authorisation, among others, asking for a suspension before the Supreme Court for an injunction to prevent the damage that this action could lead to in the Islands.
It has been announced, without rigour and no basis to sustain it, that oil activities will generate between 5,000 and 50,000 jobs for the Canaries. Not true. It is simply not true. The question is how many jobs can it destroy? Repsol itself has had to admit that this is an activity that will have risks for the Islands. Islands where tourism accounts for 30% of its GDP and people working in the tourism sector in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura exceededs 50%.
They have tried to manipulate public opinion by stating, among other things, that the survey will be 60 kilometers from the coast. This is false. The Repsol authorisation covers an area of 6,500 square meters, equivalent to the entire surface of the Canary Islands, with its farthest point 60 kilometers, it is true, but the closest is about nine kilometers from the coast of El Castillo, in Fuerteventura.
Oil exploration is not compatible with the tourism because any incident will affect the main attraction. We are told that there is no risk in the Canary Islands. If there is a leak off the coast of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura it could also reach the south of Gran Canaria.
We need to continue adding strength in the Canary Islands to make our voice heard and get to the end.
We have to stop mortgaging the future of the islands from the government of putting the interests of a multinational Partido Popular”.