Xàbia will defend No to Port Expansion in Brussels

Xàbia will defend “No” to expansion of the Port in Brussels

October 19th
The Committee on Petitions of the European Union has declared admissible the two petitions on the one hand by the town of Xàbia and the other by the Plataforma Cívica en Defensa del Litoral (Civic Platform in Defense of the Coast) to warn of damage caused by possible Xàbia Port expansion. The announcement was made this morning by the MEP of the Greens, David Hammerstein, who visited the town. The congressman was received by the Mayor of Xàbia, Eduardo Monfort, and the councilor of Urban Development and Civic Participation, Pepa Chorro. Also present at the port were members of the Platform that opposes the expansion of the port. However, no councillors from other parties were present despite having been invited.

Admission to handle the requests is likely during the month of December. According to Hammerstein, representatives of the town council and the platform will be invited to defend their request in Brussels and in person before the committee. Also, the MEP of the Greens has pointed out that "it is possible that the Government will also have to go to the same meeting" as well as the Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport that is pushing for the expansion of the port. A ministry that is moving ahead with the idea of expansion despite the Council having always opposed it, most recently last July.

Regarding confirmation that the Town Hall will be able to defend the Xàbia opposition to port expansion before the Committee on Petitions of the European Union, Monfort said that "it is great news that the voice of the people of Xàbia who have said no to the destruction of the port will be able to be heard before the European institutions" and remarked that "we are ready to go anywhere with this is to ensure the conservation of one the most emblematic areas of our town."

However, in addition to allowing the processing of the petitions, the MEP of the Greens reported that "this Friday we have presented an urgent parliamentary question in which we question whether the European Commission has noticed that the Ministry wants an expansion which violates the Habitats Directive because the Marine Reserve of the Cap de Sant Antoni is regarded as a Site of Community Interest." At the same question the MEP will urge the Commission to take action before the irreversibility of an expansion which will would clearly affect the Poseidonia (Sea Grass) beds. It is proven that these cannot be transplanted. They are protected by European legislation which aims to halt the advance of biodiversity loss by 2010. In addition, the project would affect the area of the Natural Park of Montgo, which is within the Natura 2000 network.

Hammerstein took the opportunity to describe the efforts of the Government in expanding the port "as undemocratic, because the Town Council has said up to nine times that they want to keep it as is and go for a re-organisation" and said " It is unnecessary growth, which would change the image of Xàbia and goes against a development model for quality, as well as protecting the natural values of the municipality. It favours only a few speculators with interests in urbanisation. The MEP added that this type of abuse is very common in urban Spain, and in fact one third of the 150 requests per month coming to the EU come from this country.

"The Town Hall, the Platform and the residents in general have my support to fight this barbarity." For his part, the mayor thanked Hammerstein for his visit and added that "this is not a battle lost, far from it."


Mayor Montfort (left) and MEP Hammerstein at the Port


Left to right, Vicent Mahiques (Plataforma), MEP Hammerstein and Mayor Montfort
From Press Release and XAD article.

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