Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Spain wants to 'harden' sanctions against bunkering in the bay; Minister's connections with the practice

Bunkering in the bay
GIBRALTAR Bunkering, the supply of fuel to ships at sea, is one of Gibraltar's most lucrative marine services. A couple of days ago, the Spanish Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Miguel Arias Cañete, announced that Spain was looking into creating sanctions against the practice under present tensions about fishing and territorial waters and warships headed for the Rock. An article dated February 2, 2012, in Europa Sur, said that 32.3% of all bunkering carried out for Spanish ports in 2011 happened in the Bay of Algeciras (a.k.a. Bay of Gibraltar). More recently, it was announced that several Spanish companies had bid for bunkering services through the Algeciras Port Authority - that is, not via Gibraltar, but offering the same services. One of these companies>>>
may be Petrolífera Ducar, which is owned by the minister's family, and from where he resigned as President a month after his ministerial appointment (See Minister asked about his connections with bunkering firm - Gibraltar Chronicle/CampoPulse, 13/09/12, which reveals that he still has a considerable financial stake in the business). Researching this piece, we came across an article in Público headed 'Conflict with Gibraltar could damage an Arias Cañete family business.' It was dated September 12, 2012. Do you really think Arias Cañete will risk hardening anything other than his rhetoric? 

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