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    While it’s regrettable that Greenpeace did not contact local NGO’s before boarding the New Flame last week, the ESG would like to show support for their action, as it has served to draw attention on an international scale to the calamity which is wrecked on the south eastern side of the Rock. The wreck is a stark, daily reminder of the high risk our environment faces from present controls on shipping movement within the Straits and the Bay itself.

    We would encourage the population at large not to be drawn into an ‘us and them’ scenario where-by incidents of grave environmental impact are belittled by the day to day bickering of politicians and mishandled by irresponsible news outlets. The only ones to gain from this are the companies which pollute, while the rest of us are left without beaches upon which we can relax and seas in which we can fish and swim.

    The ESG is well aware that certain political quarters as well as much of the press in Spain, have a stake in inflating the issue out of proportion particularly now that both National and Regional elections are so close. Never the less, the fact remains that the removal of the New Flame has taken far too long and has consequently led to further detrimental effects on our environment.

    Green Peace’s public message of ‘Diplomatic Pollution’ merely vindicates what the ESG has been lobbying for both publicly and in private. This is that there should be more cooperation between the port authorities in the straits and that all matters of environment should be held above any other political differences.

    Mechanisms, such as the creation of a common fund for dealing with environmental emergencies would go a long way in resolving these issues before they turn into the conundrum we now have before us.

    Falling into petty arguments of who pollutes more and what belongs to whom only leads to further inaction and harm to the environment.