THE Balearic government have gone into overdrive to underline their opposition to oil and gas exploration off the coast of the Balearics. Preliminary work is already underway by a major British oil exploration company which pointed out yesterday that they had been invited to carry out the work by the Spanish government and the regional authorities. They have also been given all the necessary licences. Now the leader of the Balearic government Jose Ramon Bauza is getting on his high horse because it was the previous socialist administration which gave the green light to oil and gas exploration. So in other words it could be said that he is making political capital out of the issue. At the moment Spain imports almost 99 percent of its energy. If oil and gas is discovered on a large scale in Spanish waters then it could be an enormous boost for the Spanish economy. I understand that there is some opposition but at the same time we are dealing with major companies which operate across the world. Can you imagine the advantages for the local economy if gas and oil were discovered? Spain could have its own North Sea style economic lift. The government should come clean and work with the oil company which is carrying out the exploration and try and calm some of the fears of the local population. The drilling area is many miles off the Balearic coast. Obviously there are some environmental concerns but the Spanish government must have done their homework first before they granted the licences in the first place. This could be a golden opportunity.
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