Hugo Morán outlines Madrid's opposition / SUR

Plans for more agricultural land in the Doñana meets with stiff opposition from Madrid

The Secretary of State for the Environment calls on the Junta de Andalucía to scrap the idea

Héctor Barbotta

Spain's Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, has called on the Junta de Andalucía to scrap a bill proposing to designate more than 1,400 hectares of the Doñana National Park as farming as the area has barely enough water to support itself.

Morán is demanding the Junta veto the bill and has accused Seville of being underhand in previous negotiations.

The Junta should "not subject Parliament to a sterile debate and not to transfer to the whole of the citizenry a conflict based on unrealistic expectations,” he said. He also said that since there is no water, "nor will there be", the Junta is wasting the public’s time.

He chastised the Junta for failing to reveal their plans at previous meetings held in November and December last year.

Spokesman for the Andalusian Government, Elías Bendodo, dodged replying directly to Morán’s concerns and instead asked for calm and reiterated the Junta’s commitment to the environment and the Doñana, which he described as the jewel in the crown of the community's environmental heritage. He added that there is a need to balance the rights of farmers.

Morán said that the image of Andalucia and its agricultural exports could be damaged if the bill passes.

The park and its surroundings, according to Morán, are under severe environmental stress, "There is no capacity to dispose of even a single cubic metre more for new economic activities.”