Spain given ultimatum by European commission to protect Donana World Heritage site in Sevilla

The European Commission has ordered a halt to the use of the Sevilla park’s underground water supply as it is degrading natural habitats

LAST UPDATED: 6 May, 2016 @ 16:40

donana national parkSPAIN has been warned to stop tapping Donana World Heritage site for water or else.

More than 1,000 illegal boreholes are draining the aquifer of one of Europe’s most important wetlands.

Spain has two months to improve the state of the water deposits before the commission takes the case to the EU’s Court of Justice.

The ultimatum is the second phase of a European infringement procedure that began in 2014 following a World Wildlife Fund complaint.

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  1. It is a great pity that the EU cannot give ultimatums to Spain on many other issues, such as the right to own a home legally in Spain. This aspect of the EU is abysmal failure. It does not make sense that they can only intervene on such matters selectively.

  2. Fred, you are right, but…
    the lack of competence and authority of the EU commission and parliament is caused by the unwilingness of the EU member states, especially of the UK, to delegate more competences to the EU institutions.

    • Wolfgang, agreed. It is very difficult to get two people to agree, let alone 28 member states. The overall concept of the EU is good, but it may just be too complex a project. What’s the alternative? Oh dear.

  3. Fred, quite right, the EU has been impotent on the so called illegal property situation in Spain. The problem is, the EU have their priorities wrong and intervene when they should not and do not intervene when they should.

    As for further EU integration, it’s not going to happen, there is no appetite for it and I’m not just referring to the UK.

    If we do vote to remain, we are now exempt from ever closer union but I don’t think it is relevant when it comes to dubious and inept Spanish property laws, I think they are breaking several existing laws anyway.

  4. Wolfgang, total b/s and you know it. Brussels makes laws and does not enforce them. Stop trying to lay the blame at the UK’s door – it won’t work.

    Germany and France ordered the ECB to bale out their banks after they knowingly and stupidly lent vast amounts of money to Greece. Those banks should have been allowed to fail but that would have meant huge losses for German and French tax payers, so it did’nt happen.

    Spain like the rest of southern Europe only pays lip service to EU regulations, everybody knows that, including you.

    What’s to stop the EU from enforcing free IBAN transfers in the Eurozone – the Netherlands and Germany and I think Denmark do, nobody else does. Just how difficult is that to enforce and BTW the UK is not in the Eurozone, so the feeble attitude of the EU cannot have been influenced by the UK – there goes your argument.

    • It’s true, the EU has not enforced enough directives and has let member states walk all over the people. Coming back to subject of Donana, who else is going to watch over protected sites? If Spain left the EU, which is always a possibility in the future, there would be no oversight of these places at all, so it in the interest of these protected places that member states stay in the EU. Whilst the EU is dysfunctional in many respects, it is good to have EU oversight on this particular matter. The EU need to do a lot more enforcement. Environmental matters are actually much more important than IBANs and bailouts. Remember that we need the world. The world doesn’t need us. When the environment is destroyed, bailouts won’t help anyone.

    • I know, Stuart. Would you agree that EU oversight helps environmental issues? It must be better to have some oversight fom the EU, rather than none at all?

  5. Fred,
    the reality is that there is none at all. Think of the enormous damage that the Australian gold mining company did on the Danube and some years ago another Aussie gold miner did to the Donana.

    95% of all the gold ever mined sits in bank vaults, they say that Fort Knox is empty, the Yanks won’t let the Germans see their own stockpile (I wonder why). A far more important metal is silver, indispensable to the electronic industries. So why does the EU allow any country in the union to mine this basically useless material where irreplaceable environmental sites are.

    • Stuart, you say there is no (oversight) at all, but here is the EU giving Spain an ultimatum over Donana, so that must be good for Donana? It is better than nothing at all, or are you saying the EU’s intervention is fake?

    • The EU can withdraw funding from Spain, but agreed, the EU cannot force any member state to do anything at the end of the day. That would be a real dictatorship. Let us see what penalty the EU will impose on Spain regarding Donana.