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The Catalan Ombudsman demands that violated rights be restored in Terres de l'Ebre region with regards to Castor Project

15/10/2014

(C) Joan Revillas Diari de Tarragona

Rafael Ribó has visited the villages concerned to meet the mayors, the Platform for the Defence of Sénia River and other entities concerned

The Ombudsman requests that material and moral damages be compensated and that environmental impact be assessed

He also urges the Government of Catalonia to take the lead and provide advice and support to the people concerned  

The Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, has visited the villages concerned in order to work jointly with the mayors on the measures to be taken to demand a fully restoration of rights after the Castor project fiasco. He has also met the representatives of the Platform for the Defence of Sénia River and other entities concerned.

The Ombudsman considers that Government of Catalonia should play an active role and provide advice and support to the people concerned with regards to the legal actions to be taken. Among other recommendations, the Ombudsman urges the Government of Catalonia, in coordination with the Spanish Government, to carry out the assessment of damages without any other previous procedure.

Besides material damages, the Ombudsman also requests that moral damages suffered because of the Castor project be compensated and assessed under the same terms that material damages.

In addition to prioritise the payment of compensations to people concerned, the Ombudsman insists that independent technical experts draw up a report before six months about how the hibernation of the platform will impact on the environment and also on the maintenance of the structure.

A year ago the Catalan Ombudsman started to look into possible irregularities regarding the management and the awarding of the concession of the Castor project, as well as with regards to the earthquakes that took place in the area closest to the gas storage.

In September 2014 the Platform for the Defence of Sénia River lodged more that 500 complaints expressing the rejection of the project and asking the administrations to be held accountable for having awarded this concession, despite the risk and danger stated in the required reports before the concession.

The Ombudsman also met consumer associations, unions and professional associations to work on the measures to be taken to prevent the Decree passed by the Spanish Government from thriving. This decree states that consumers shall bear the cost of compensation to the concessionary companies.

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