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Friday, January 03, 2003

Approximately 20,000 tons of oil have so far leaked from the Prestige oil tanker that sunk off the coast of Spain in November 2002.

This oil has already devastated fishing grounds + beaches in north-west Spain, but is now also being driven across the Bay of Biscay to France...

France's President Chirac has today said that France + Europe would not allow "corrupt businessmen" to continue exploiting the weaknesses of the current system of checking oil tankers and that oil disasters "are not inevitable, they are the result of human actions that go unchecked."

Mr Chirac also said "Captains, owners, charterers of floating dustbins, classification companies, insurers of such ships, companies managing flags of convenience must be prosecuted and must be punished by the courts in an exemplary manner."