By H. Carter

THE President of the Balearics, Francesc Antich, yesterday spoke out against plans to begin prospecting for oil in Balearic waters.
Opposition to the project is widespread both here in the Balearics and in Valencia, as Valencian waters will also be affected, and Antich said that “tourism and oil prospecting” is totally incompatible.

The Minister for Tourism, Joana Barcelo, voiced her fears earlier this week and it appears that Antich and the Balearic government has the support of the tourist industry and the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce which threw its weight behind any campaign to stop the oil prospecting from going ahead.

Apparently, the multinational Cairn Energy has been given permission to begin prospecting in the Gulf of Valencia near the coasts of Valencia and the Balearics.

Joan Gual de Torrelall, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday that he totally rejects the proposal claiming that such heavy industrial activity will pose a threat to the local environment, economy and tourist industry.

Torrella yesterday held a meeting with the Balearic Senator, Pere Sampol, in an attempt to have the issue raised in Madrid and with central government.
There are serious concerns that, if oil is found, then drilling platform will begin appearing off the coast of the Balearics.