SPAIN’S new leader Mariano Rajoy will have the ultimate say in whether to allow the prospecting for gas off the Costa del Sol.
While locally PP bosses insist drilling off Mijas would be a disasterous idea for tourism, Madrid’s environment department has already given it the go ahead.
Now, Rajoy will have to decide if his government should ultimately give the go ahead for the ‘crazy’ scheme to be undertaken by oil giant Repsol.
Drilling is due to begin in February, but may now have to be shelved due to the change of government.
Already the mayors of Mijas, Marbella and Fuengirola have opposed the plan, while global pressure group Greenpeace has called for an immediate halt to the project.
The group insists the ‘crazy’ scheme would cause ‘chronic contamination’ and a lasting impact on marine life.
It would also pose ‘a huge risk of spills, fires and pollution in the sea’.
The worst consequences would be felt by turtles and tuna that are already facing serious problems due to over fishing and pollution.
The celebrated sea grass bed, off Calahonda, which is an EU site of community interest, would also be endangered.
The area is home to over 1000 species of marine life and around 400 plant species, claims the pressure group.
In addition the group claims the scheme could have a ‘serious impact’ on both tourism and fishing; sectors that are ‘fundamental to the economy.’