Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oil referendum in doubt

The Canarian government and its president Paulino Rivero still want the people of the islands to have the final say in whether oil companies like the Spanish-owned multinational Repsol should be allowed to begin exploration work off Fuerteventura and Lanzarote later this year. Rivero, supported by most local administrations including the government of La Gomera, believes an oil industry would have a serious impact on the environment and adversely affect tourism. The current Spanish government insists that here is no potential harm involved and oil would be of notable economic benefit for the Canary Islands. 
A referendum proposal had been tabled by an MP from the Canaries during last Thursday's meeting of the Energy and Industry Committee but it was rejected by a majority of 24 to 15. The Canarian government must now decide whether to risk legal action against it if it goes ahead as promised with its plans for the oil referendum, which Madrid has repeatedly said it is constitutionally not entitled to hold.

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