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La "CIA" hizo un seguimiento al minuto de la catástrofe del Prestige de forma Oficial y ocultada al Gobierno español

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 MADRID 00003037  001.2 OF 002 

1. EWWT: Prestige wreck leaking fuel
2. ECON: Spain's economic situation
3. EUR/ERA Deputy Director for Econ visit to Madrid
4. EAGR: Spanish coexistence decree update
5. EAGR: Water levels/drought conditions in Spain

Prestige May Be Leaking Fuel Again:

1. (U) The Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO) mounted an
early November expedition to the site of the sunken wreckage
of the Prestige, the oil tanker carrying 37,500 tons of fuel
that sank off the coast of Galicia on November 19, 2002,
resulting in the largest oil spill in Spanish history.  The
IEO confirmed reports that the Prestige was indeed leaking
oil and recommended that these leaks be "controlled."  They
did not recommend the removal of the remaining 700 tons of
fuel left in the Prestige's tanks following earlier efforts
to mitigate the disaster.  As a result of the IEO's
recommendations, Spanish Vice President Maria Teresa
Fernandez de la Vega announced December 2 that the GOS would
contract with Spanish oil giant REPSOL to send technicians to
the site of the wreckage, 250 kilometers off the Galician
coastline, in early 2007 to ascertain the extent of the
problem.  She said the possibility of a major leakage of oil
was "remote" and the leaks "would not have an impact on the
maritime or coastal ecosystems" of Galicia.  Some scientists
believe that oil-eating bacteria that was deposited in the
tanks during earlier mitigation efforts and was supposed to
slowly eliminate the petroleum, has instead acted as a
corrosive and has been destroying the tanks as well, thus
producing the leaks.

One in five living below poverty level in Spain

2. (U) According to a recent report by Spain,s National
Statistics Institute, 19.8 percent of the country,s
population was living below the poverty line in 2005.  The
report was based on a survey of living conditions that will
be included in a European Union study to be released in 2007.
Drawing on data from 2005, the Institute said the average
household net income was 22,418 euro (29,798 USD at 1.327
euro/dollar), while for individuals it was 7,925 euro (10,516
USD).  Of those who lived under the poverty threshold, which
was defined as an annual net income of 6,347 euro (8,422 USD)
for a household and 9,520 euro (12,633 euro) for an
individual, 47.3 percent were over 65 years of age and living
alone, while 36.9 percent were single parents with at least
one child.  The report also noted that 40.4 percent of
households are unable to afford an annual one week vacation
away from home.

3.  (U) The results of the study are surprising given that
Spain has had one of the fastest growing economies in the
euro zone, with continuous growth for over a decade.
However, this is primarily the result of strong domestic
demand driven by population (immigration) growth, as well as
robust growth in the construction sector.  Another report by
the National Statistics Institute noted that immigrants have
also played an increasing role in the growing economy, thus
this segment of the population may well make up a significant
part of those living below the poverty line.  The autonomous
communities with the lowest family income are Extremadura and
Castilla-La Mancha.  The autonomous communities of Navarra
and Madrid surpass the national average by 20 percent.

EUR/ERA Deputy Director for Economic Affairs visits Madrid

4. (U) Post hosted the visit of EUR/ERA Deputy Director for
Economic Affairs Eric Luftman on Monday, November 27.
Luftman met with Felipe de la Morena, Deputy Director for
Bilateral Economic Relations with Developing Countries
(non-OECD) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  In a cordial
meeting, de la Morena discussed Spain,s increased role in
Latin America, energy policy, and Plan Africa, a development
plan geared to stem the flow of immigration.  Luftman also
met with Cristina Serrano, Deputy Director for Economic and
Financial Affairs for the European Union, and with Eleutorio
Alcocer, Director of Coordination and Legal Communitarian
Affairs at the MFA.  The latter two meetings focused on
Spain,s interaction within the EU on the implementation of
economic-related EU directives.

Agriculture:

5.  (U) The Spanish coexistence decree (Decree), previously
expected in final form this calendar year, appears to be on
hold again.  This time the delay is reported to be a new
disagreement between the Ministry of the Environment (MOE)
and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) over the perceived

MADRID 00003037  002.2 OF 002


terms that led to the current Decree, with its exorbitant
220-meter buffer zone.  We were told in July, by one of the
Ambassador's contacts within the Spanish President's inner
circle, that the Decree could not be changed/influenced by us
(the U.S. Government) or by anyone else, and that it would be
promulgated yet during 2006.  However, our contacts now tell
us that the Decree will not see the light-of-day until
February 2007 at the earliest, which may open the window for
biotechnology corn production for the tenth straight year
with the planting of next year's crop in February 2007.

6. (U) While we are not certain of the exact points of
discrepancy between the agencies (some suggests that the MOE
now wants a 400 meter buffer zone), we do know that we have
seen an upsurge in anti-biotechnology activity in recent
weeks.  It began with an article in El Pais, one of Spain's
most-read dailies.  The article has since been reproduced in
press all over Europe, including in the paper and online
versions of Agri-Net/Agri Europe.  In the original article,
anti-biotechnology activists/corn producers claim that
biotechnology corn is destroying organic corn production in
Spain, because of cross-pollination said to be occurring even
within the currently recommended 50-meter buffer zone.

Drought Fears Washed Away:

7. (U) After suffering two years of severe drought and water
use restrictions, record fall rains throughout Spain (the
second wettest autumn since 1990) have brought relief to
most, but not all, of the affected regions.  During the
course of the last week, total Spanish water reserves
surpassed the 10 year average for this time of the year.
Nationwide, dams were at 54.7 percent of their capacity in
early December, 11 percentage points higher than at this time
last year and 16 points higher than late September 2005 (when
water levels reached the lowest point recorded since the 1995
drought).  In the Madrid region, water reserves now stand at
72 percent above levels measured at this time in 2005.   As a
result of the rains, government authorities have lifted most
water use restrictions throughout Spain (which had generally
focused on water used for crop irrigation).  Nonetheless,
water reserves in a few areas in the southern region of
Andalucia (e.g., the Jucar and Segura river-based systems)
are still dangerously low.
AGUIRRE

MADRID WEEKLY ECON/AG/COMMERCIAL UPDATE REPORT

Date:

2006   December 13, 16:08 (Wednesday)

Canonical ID:

06MADRID3037_a

Original Classification:

UNCLASSIFIED,FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Current Classification:

UNCLASSIFIED,FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Handling   Restrictions

-- Not   Assigned --

Character   Count:

7231

Executive   Order:

-- Not   Assigned --

Locator:

TEXT   ONLINE

TAGS:

EAGR - Economic Affairs--Agriculture and Forestry | ECON - Economic Affairs--Economic Conditions, Trends and   Potential | EINV - Economic Affairs--Investments; Foreign   Investments |   ETRD - Economic Affairs--Foreign Trade | EWWT - Economic Affairs--Waterborne Transportation | KIPR - Intellectual Property Rights | SP - Spain | TBIO - Technology and Science--Biological and Medical   Science

Concepts:

-- Not   Assigned --

Enclosure:

-- Not   Assigned --

Type:

TE -   Telegram (cable)

Office Origin:

-- N/A or Blank --


 

Office Action:

-- N/A or Blank --

Archive   Status:

-- Not   Assigned --

From:

Spain Madrid

Markings:

-- Not   Assigned --

To:

Secretary of State | Spain Barcelona | U.S. Mission to European Union (formerly EC) (Brussels)

 

 

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  Fri, 10 Aug 1973 FORTHCOMING ROUND OF BILATERAL TALKS Santiago, Chile Department of State | Secretary of State 7188
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