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Representatives willing to visit Marina Alta to assess social and economic consequences

Thursday 20th March 2014

javeamigos.com | XABIA DIU NO

Mayor José Chulvi travelled to the European Parliament earlier this week to convey the huge opposition in the Marina Alta region to the proposed oil exploration project in the Gulf of Valencia. Accompanied by councillor Antonio Miragall (Tourism), the mayor attended three meetings in Brussels, the first of which was with Nigel Smith, head of the European Commission's Environment Directorate - Marine Environment & Water Industry, who explained that the EC had already called on the Spanish government to give more information on the project and was waiting to receive a report on the environmental impact and a final decision on whether or not to carry out the extraction of hydrocarbons.

Smith made it clear that although authorisation for the project is strictly a national affair, Europe also has an input since it is responsible for ensuring that all environmental impact regulations are fulfilled. He also recommended that Jávea actively participates in the public consultation stage which will not only address the environmental impact of the proposed oil exploration project but also assess its social and economic consequences.

He also guaranteed that all prospective surveys in Spain into environmental conditions and marine habitats are subject to a sensitive and rigorous analysis by the European Commission for the Environment, headed by Janez Potocnik, particularly those carried out in the Meditteranean Sea due to its characteristic as a closed sea which is very is very sensitive to any type of marine disaster. To close the meeting, Smith thanked the representatives from Jávea for all the information that was provided to him and gave his commitment to monitor all developments very closely.

Another fruitful meeting was held with German MEP Jo Lienen who is responsible for such issues as exploration and fracking and who was formally president of the European Commission for the Environment. He also promised to monitor problems caused by the surveys and suggested that, after the European Parliament elections to be held in May, a visit should be organised to Jávea to see and understand the social and economic circumstances that have led to the Marina Alta's complete rejection of the oil exploration project.

Finally, mayor Chulvi and councillor Miragall met with the UK's Linda McAvan, a member of the EC's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, who also received a copy of the special information dossier and listened to the concerns of the towns along the Valencian coast about the potential consequences of oil exploration projects in the Mediterranean, a situation with which she was already familiar due to a parliamentary question by Valencian MEP Andrés Perelló who had accompanied the delegation from Jávea. The British also promised their full cooperation.

Mayor José Chulvi thanked Andrés Perelló for his help in making the necessary contacts and appointments that were needed to convey the huge opposition in the Marina Alta region to the proposed project in the Gulf of Valencia. The mayor stressed the great work of the Valencian socialist representative in the fight against the proposed surveys. And, after having spoken with these important contacts in Brussels, the mayor is hopeful and encouraged that the project will be halted and will be passing on the results of the trip to local associations such as the Fishermen's Guild and other mayors in the region that have expressed a willingness to work together to provide opposition against the oil exploration project.

javeamigos.com | XABIA DUI NO - NIGEL SMITH

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