Balearic senator Manuel Camara, who hit the headlines only last month when he took part in a protest in Palma against the presence of the U.S nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington in the Bay of Palma, threw himself into the international arena again yesterday when he defended the action of Greenpeace activists who encircled and boarded the disabled Royal Navy nuclear submarine Tireless moored in Gibraltar harbour. The senator discussed events with the director of Greenpeace Spain, Majorcan Xavier Pastor, yesterday during a telephone conversation, during which he expressed his disapproval of the Greenpeace activists being arrested. Camara said that the behaviour of the protesters was “totally legitimate.” In an official communique, Camara slammed the arrests of the Greenpeace members for “not making any sense” and he said “charges of invading a military establishment and resisting arrest” can not be pressed against the environmentalists. The senator said that the protest was totally legitimate ”considering the Spanish government's relaxed attitude to Tony Blair's continued refusal to provide more information about the submarine.” The Balearic senator proclaimed yesterday that the population of Gibraltar “has a right to know exactly what is happening to the Tireless.” “The consequences of a radioactive leak in the area could be disasterous,” Camara said. The Balearic politician also made it clear that he has no intention of letting the issue drop. The Tireless has raised the ire of environmentalists, Spanish opposition politicians and local residents since it arrived in Gibraltar last May after developing a leak in the cooling system of its nuclear reactor while on duty in the Mediterranean. Opponents demand the submarine be taken back to Britain for repairs but Britain's Ministry of Defence has refused, saying that moving the ship would be risky. He said yesterday that he will study all necessary avenues within the Senate, to demand that the Spanish Foreign Ministry expresses its support for the arrested environmentalists in order to secure their release and that all charges are dropped. Greenpeace said in a statement its activists had boarded the submarine, the Tireless, and unfurled protest banners calling for “Nuclear-Free Seas”. Greenpeace said of the seven men and three women detained, five were from Spain, three from Germany, one from Austria and one from Italy. The Balearic United Left senator agreed with the environmental organisation that “Greenpeace achieved its objective, which was to board the submarine to call the attention of public opinion to the risks inherent in its presence in the port of Gibraltar.”


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