Thursday, 13 September 2012

Minister asked about his connections with bunkering firm

Miguel Arias Cañete
Minister of Agriculture, Food and
Arias Cañete resigned a month after becoming minister
MADRID (Agencies) The Opposition in Parliament is requesting the presence of Miguel Arias Cañete, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, to explain his connection to a bunkering firm because, if it is confirmed, it would be a 'very serious conflict of interest', according to a PSOE spokesperson. The Gibraltar Chronicle says that the matter has drawn political attention after Foreign Minister Jose Garcia Margallo’s remarks last week that the Spanish Government would regulate bunkering activities and implement other environmental protection measures in its EU approved nature protection (SCI) site in local waters, itself the subject of a diplomatic row and legal challenge by Britain and Gibraltar in Europe.

Arias Cañete resigned as President of Petrolífera Ducar, which specialises in bunkering operations, a whole month after he became the minister, and still holds several hundreds of thousands of euros' worth of shares in the company, which is now controlled by his brother-in-law, Miguel Domecq Solís.

One Spanish online news site, Pú, says that the first to be damaged by the declaration of the SCI is the Arias Cañete's family business, Petrolífera Duca. The company supplies fuel to the bunkering ships carrying out fueling operations in the Bay of Algeciras that have been denounced on numerous occasions by environmental groups such as Ecologistas en Acción-Verdemar.

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