10 Sep, 2014 @ 11:00
1 min read

Political row erupts over drilling in the Canary Islands

A BLAZING row over oil could see the Canary Islands ending its six-century relationship with Spain.

The Spanish archipelago’s president is threatening to cut all ties with the ‘motherland’ for giving the green light to oil drilling without prior consultation.

The actions of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy have been described as ‘disrespectful’ and lacking ‘even the slightest institutional courtesy’ by the islands’ President Paulino Rivero.

Rajoy has given Repsol permission to start drilling for oil just 50km off the shores of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, without first discussing it with Rivero.

Rivero retaliated by threatening divorce from Spain if the drilling plans continue, drafting a non-binding referendum asking the population whether they wanted the drilling, due to begin in October.

An enraged Rajoy has responded by calling the referendum both ‘illegal’ and ‘anti-constitutional’.

The political conflagration follows a similar drilling controversy in the Balearic Islands, but Rivero argues that the sister archipelago is receiving different treatment.

“If we assume that for political reasons an environmental ruling will block oil drilling in the Balearics, as will probably be the case, it will leave the Canaries in the lurch,” said Rivero.

The two archipelagos make up over half of tourism revenues for Spain.

But Spain’s Industry Minister, Jose Manuel Soria, insists that the Canary Islands simply cannot afford to cancel drilling.

The island chain has an unemployment rate of 33% – 8% higher than Spain’s already alarming level – and the drilling will help provide jobs.

The Canaries have been Spanish since the Castilian conquest at the start of the 15th century.

According to 2010 figures from the Sociological Research Center, 43.5% of the Canary Islanders feel more Canarian than Spanish.

Jacqueline Fanchini (Reporter)

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  1. Excellent news, well done Mr Rivero. The Canary Islands must be kept pristine. To ignore their wishes was most rude and unwise, but of course totally typical of the Spanish governments ineptitude on such matters.

  2. What an incredible leader Mr.Rivero is!
    He is always fighting the cause to keep the Canary Islands unspoilt and pristine and is a true ” champion” of the people.
    The Canaries are so beautiful and have so much to offer, it would be a total disaster if this drilling was allowed to take place.
    How dare Rajoy make decisions, that could spoil this unique environment for ever, without proper consultations with our President and the residents of the Islands.
    We must fight this and stand up for our rights,until we force Rajoy to reverse this dreadful decision, so that future generations can continue to enjoy this remarkable area.

  3. This is happening this month without a doubt. No political action is just unless the pocket´s of politicos are lined with gold, which is the problem here. Money.

    Water over energy everyday. When the drilling begins shut the ports down. Canaries have the power that will shut the door to the Americas and punish illicit political and economic deals.

    No oil. Shut the ports now! Canaries would be sustainable if the majority of water was not usd to feed Europeans bananas. Go bananas. Shut the ports down!

    Stop lying to us and we must stop lying to ourselves. Jobs are not important as is seen in the one in three out of work. Food and water provide life. We have caves to live in.

    End this now. Shut the ports!

  4. Whisper it Freeparty, your ports aren’t needed, your bananas will be sourced elsewhere. The black gold can be sucked up 50K from your coast without any input or cooperation from The Canaries. Your only chance is peaceful direct action a la Greenpeace/Sea Shepherd-type accionistas. Your islands are too precious to imperil in this manner.
    (You sound like a re-born Guanche BTW)

  5. Closing the ports would be peaceful action. The lie being told is that human beings need imperial powers to afford to live. The spirits that inhabit these islands will resolve this abuse with La Palma waving goodbye to the eastern coast of the United States. And Guanche is a Spanish term created by the imperialist Spain. I take that as an insult like the natives of North America when they are referred to as Indians. I am a human being living on our earth, stop making it a mess it or your Mother will whoop you.

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