Balearics MEP Rosa Estaràs in the European Parliament on Thursday.


The damage caused by Storm Gloria has become a matter for the European Parliament. On Wednesday, an MEP for the ERC Esquerra Republicana Catalunya started the debate about EU aid by observing that thirteen people had lost their lives and that there had been a devastating and unprecedented ecological and agricultural impact. In her opinion, this was a clear consequence of the effects of climate change on the Spanish coast.

There was an overwhelming vote on Wednesday to take the debate forward to Thursday's session, during which the Partido Popular MEP from the Balearics, Rosa Estaràs, called for the activation of the EU's solidarity fund because of the human, financial and social consequences of Storm Gloria in the Balearics. "More than ever, this is the moment for the European spirit to be shown to Spain," she said, noting that the storm had produced waves up to fourteen metres.

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"In the Balearics, houses, roads and promenades were battered. Ports were closed in Barcelona, Valencia, Ciutadella and Mahon. And most seriously, there were deaths and there are missing people as well as enormous damage." Estaràs identified Capdepera, Felanitx, Manacor, Pollensa, Sant Llorenç, Santanyi and Son Servera as having been the most affected municipalities. "We need to send a clear political message: to provide help to people who have been harmed and to demonstrate the spirit of European solidarity."

Also on Thursday, Spain's interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, visited Majorca and put the cost of damage caused by the storm in the Balearics at 16 million euros. This was, he said, still only an approximate valuation.

Meanwhile, the search is continuing for David Cabrera, missing since Monday last week, and for a Briton who disappeared in Ibiza on the same day. The Guardia Civil said on Thursday that the mountain rescue and diving units were still looking for the two people.