PP labels tanker accident "inexcusable negligence"
The opposition Popular Party (PP) sought to turn the sinking of the scrap ship New Flame into a political issue yesterday.13 February 2008
MADRID - The opposition Popular Party (PP) sought to turn the sinking of the scrap ship New Flame into a political issue yesterday, asking why there had not been a public outcry against the current government as there was when the Prestige tanker sank in 2002, when it was in power.
The New Flame, which is carrying 42,000 tonnes of scrap metal, ran into problems in August after it collided with a tanker as it left the port of Gibraltar. Around a third of it sank, with nearly all the rest disappearing under the surface on Sunday. On Monday, the Spanish government called the British ambassador to account for Gibraltar's inaction.
"Do you remember the persecution of the government after the Prestige sank?" asked the General Secretary of the PP, Ángel Acebes, at a party event in Valencia yesterday. He went on to label it "inexcusable negligence." However, the similarities between the two cases are scant, given that the Prestige disaster saw a 64,000-tonne fuel leak, much of which washed up on the Galician coastline, after the PP government ordered the tanker out to sea, where it eventually broke up.
The New Flame, on the other hand, has leaked just 24 tons of fuel onto beaches in Algeciras, which a team of 55 workers has taken two days to clean up.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / S. HUNTER 2008]
Subject: Spanish news