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    Radio Newsletter 2010 ESG

    The ESG has been looking forward this week after our recent website launch from our new offices last week, and the event we organised in Main Street for World Earth Day,- an event which pretty much realised our objectives of raising awareness of the importance of environmental issues and we also recruited a few new members and raised some funds- thanks to all those who gave of their time to help on what proved to be a rather wet day!!

    A thundering bolt however, from Brussels once again spotlights the cross border issue of toxic polluting industries in Spain and their suspected impacts on the health of the citizens throughout the Bay leading to higher mortality from cancers and other such diseases. The industries referred to, in this case, are the CEPSA Oil Refinery, and the massive petrochemical complex as well as other highly polluting industries on the Spanish side of the border.

    On the back of our cross border petition of some 14,000 signatures – calling for a rigorous and transparent epidemiological study to be carried out at a cross border level and presented officially at a local, cross border and European level in 2007,- we are today celebrating the fact that the many years of fighting this issue – for the right of Bay citizens to a healthy quality of life and environment – that this right has finally been officially recognised at a European Commission level as was publicly debated under full media scrutiny this last Tuesday.

    The European Parliament session on this issue was very damning of the fact that the Spanish Authorities, in this case, La Junta, has failed its own citizens by refusing to undertake such independent cross border studies to fully investigate the causes behind the higher incidence of cancers and mortality known to exist on the Spanish side of the border.

    Of course the Junta has reacted predictably and defensively but it can no longer hide from the facts as laid out and publicly aired at the European Parliamentary Session this week.

    What now?

    We know our own Gibraltar Govt has already embarked on an independent study on the Gibraltar community and we are expecting them to release a progress report by the end of 2010. We also understand, however, how critical it is at a scientific level for such studies to draw from as large a statistical base as possible, and to access all information available which would provide for a robust and accurate representation of the reality on the ground.

    No doubt, further political pressure will be required and NGO’s will look at all options including the Tripartite Forum as a possible vehicle in which to push for this.

    Further discussions will now take place among cross border NGO’s –watch out for more updates on this soon- and visit esg-gib.net where we shall do our best to keep you informed.