(Jun 27, 2007)

Construction along Spain's coast hurts shores

From AP

MADRID, Spain (AP) - Rampant construction along the Spanish coastline is damaging Spain's shores and endangering the vital tourism industry, environmental organization Greenpeace warned on Wednesday.

''The numbers demonstrate the failure on the part of local administrations to find a solution to the problems of the coastline and the need to adopt important reforms regarding the management of the coast to put the brakes on the coast's destruction,'' the report said.

In a report, the Greenpeace said that Spanish developers plan to build more than 200,000 hotel rooms, 316 golf courses and 112 marinas.

These significant projects in environmentally sensitive areas threaten to damage Spain's coastlines that annually attract millions of tourists, they said.

Tourism accounts for about 12 percent of Spain's gross domestic product.

Greenpeace also said Spanish police are currently investigating nearly 200 cases of corruption in the southern coast region of Andalucia that it says have led to illegal building along protected coastal areas.

The Spanish Environment Ministry had no immediate reaction to the report, although a spokesman said the government is also trying to protect the coast.

Last week, the European Parliament firmly condemned Spain for the environmental damage that overdevelopment had caused in Madrid and along the Mediterranean coast.

In a motion, it said the mix of lax building laws, greedy developers and corrupt politicians had had a ''disastrous effect'' on the country's environment.

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