Spain seeks EUR 1b in claims over 'Prestige'

9th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Galicia’s marine ecosystems have yet to recover five years after the oil tanker sank.

9 April 2008

SANTIAGO - Spain is seeking almost EUR 1 billion in compensation for the environmental catastrophe caused by the sinking of the oil tanker, Prestige, off the coast of Galicia in November 2002, according to papers filed Tuesday with the court investigating the disaster.

Lawyers representing the state deposited 11 boxes containing thousands of documents with the court in Corcubión, Galicia, yesterday to justify claims that total EUR 938.23 million.

Five years after the Prestige sank 130 miles offshore, spewing 70,000 tons of fuel oil onto the coast of Galicia, the case has yet to go to trial and it is unclear who will be held responsible for footing the bill for the worst environmental catastrophe in Spain's recent history.

Galicia's marine ecosystems have yet to fully recover from the decimation caused by the toxic sludge, while the fishing and shellfish industries, which were crippled by the spill, have only slowly rebuilt themselves. The damages sought by the state are intended to cover the compensation paid to fishing families and local residents as well as the costly clean-up operation.

The amount sought Tuesday is EUR 163 million more than the original estimate of the damages calculated in 2005, as it also includes claims from town halls and regional authorities. France is seeking an additional EUR 97 million to compensate for the spill's impact on its southwest coast.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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