Work continued on “repairing” beaches hit by freak storms earlier this year.

Activists from the Balearic environmental group GOB had to be evicted from Can Picafort beach by the Guardia Civil yesterday after a protest against the artificial beach regeneration project halted work for an hour. Hundreds of tourists gathered to watch the spectacle as members of GOB chained themselves to machinery and equipment while others occupied bulldozers, also under the watchful eye of the Guardia Civil. The environmentalists claim that the project, approved by the Environment Ministry in Madrid, is illegal and GOB has reported the ministry to the European Commission and the Balearic Environment Ministry. GOB said yesterday that the Balearic Ministry has been unable to carry out an environmental impact study into the project because Madrid has failed to provide any information about the work that is being carried out. The organisation also maintains that the area of beach being enlarged is in an Area of Community Interest because of certain rare marine life which is being disturbed by the dredging of the sea bed. GOB said that the dredging is actually moving more sand and causing more damage than the November storms which transformed the shape of Can Picafort beach. GOB wants the project halted immediately and a full impact study carried out before any further beach regeneration work resumes. The Confederation of Balearic Business Associations yesterday came up supporting the beach regeneration projects, stressing the need for the work to go ahead so that all the beaches hit by the November storm are repaired by the time the summer season starts. CAEB said that the Balearics does not need another conflict in the tourist industry, adding that the Can Picafort project is being carried out under strict environmental controls.


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