SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – It was busy in Santiago de Compostela on Sunday, January 21. Thousands of people took to the streets after a call from environmental organizations to advocate for a clean sea.
Tiny plastic balls have been washing up on the beaches of Galicia for weeks. Bags full of the so-called pellets fell from a container ship off the coast in December. Environmental organisations speak of a disaster for both the ecosystem and fisheries. The plastic balls have now also reached the coasts in the north of Spain.
Galicia goes to the polls on February 18. This also gave Sunday’s demonstration a political charge. Citizens and environmental organisations accuse the current government, led by the Partido Popular (PP), of negligence in tackling the ecological disaster. The government of Galicia, the Xunta, has now hired a marketing and communications company to form volunteer teams to clean the beaches. The choice of the company in question is remarkable and not without controversy because it appears to be affiliated with the PP.
Several national politicians were present at the protest march for a clean sea. The candidates who aspire to the presidency of Galicia in the coming elections were also present.
“Think of the sea when you vote”
During the demonstration, many voices expressed indignation, despair, and concern. “Think of the sea when you vote”, “We shellfish fishermen are crying, we shellfish fishermen have no income” or “The citizens are cleaning up, the Xunta is manipulating”, were some of the slogans. that could be heard Santiago.
In the rain, under the watchful eye of the famous cathedral of Santiago de Compostella, ‘Nunca Máis’ sounded, never again, which also sounded in 2002. Then the oil tanker Prestige sank off the coast, spilling thousands of litres of oil into the sea. The slogan ‘Nunca Máis’ was introduced to draw attention to the need for environmental, legal, and political responsibility after that disaster. The Xunta of Galicia is once again accused of failing to tackle a disaster. However, the current problem with the pellets cannot be compared to the ‘oil slick’ of the time,