News desk FINES of up to three million euros can be imposed under a new law to protect the countryside. The law, known as Leco for short, has already been approved by the government and will now be debated in parliament. In addition to the three million euro fine, applicable for very serious offences, the guilty party will also be required to repair the damage caused. The law defines “very serious offences” as the use of chemical products, biological substances or other contaminating products; dumping rubbish which alters the conditions of habitability, producing serious damage to the characteristics of the protected area; fires started deliberately; deliberate and irreversible work which goes against planning regulations.” The “serious offences” include obstructing the work of environmental inspectors; introducing flora and fauna without permission; altering ecological processes which are fundamental for the ecosystem; building fires in forbidden places; camping in areas where such activity is banned; destroying signs; organising events which attract large crowds in areas where they are banned; serious damage to the flora, fauna or landscape.” Fines for serious offences range from 6'000 to 60'000 euros, and for very serious offences from 60'000 to 300'000 euros. However, these sums can be increased to the total value of the illicit profit made by the infractor, up to three million euros.

Until the law is approved by parliament, the environment is protected by a State law, which sets the minimum amount for fines, but leaves the maximum up to the regional governments.

The Balearic law is stricter and clearer in some aspects, such as the use of cars and boats, camping, fiestas in the open air and dumping rubbish.
Infractions, in addition to fines, can lead to the loss of the right to subsidies, or cancellation of licences and concessions.