This is the continuation thread on oil prosecting in the Canaries. Earlier posts, from February 2012 to August 2014, which I’ve split for ease of management, are HERE.
Update 1 September: And now that really is it. Repsol has confirmed that although its licences to drill have not yet expired, it will not return to the Canaries. Canarian president Fernando Clavijo said that it was good to hear that the matter was now, quite literally, dead in the water.
Update 16 January 2015: That’s it, it seems. Repsol says that it has not found oil in its drilling, and although it has found hydrocarbons, the gas is of low quality and not suitable to extract commercially. After all the political posturing, and irrevocable damage to relationships throughout the Canaries and nationally at all levels, exploration is to stop in any case. In the end, it was nature itself that had the final say.
Update 16 November 2014: A Greenpeace zodiac craft has been rammed by the Spanish navy, as filmed in the above clip. MEP Ernest Urtasun, ICV member who is part of the Green group in the European parliament, said that an “urgent motion” about the incident will shortly be lodged with the full session of the European Commission in Strasbourg.
The video clearly shows the navy craft ramming the Greenpeace launch, and despite the inevitable war of words over the navy’s interpretation of its action and the causes behind it, Canarian-born Madrid Industry minister José Manuel Soria says that public order and freedom of activity will be preserved in the area.
Canarian president Paulino Rivero was in no doubt as to where blame should be attributed. It was Madrid, rather than the navy specifically, he said, which had not hesitated to use violence against a peaceful protest. Given the opposition to the drilling, and the personal animosity between Rivero and Soria, the regional president could be expected to make as much mileage out of the incident as possible, but regardless of all considerations, the above images are compelling, and undeniable. The Spanish navy rammed a Greenpeace protest launch in high sea. One Greenpeace crew member was injured but is said to be well in hospital in Gran Canaria.