NGOs, including WWF Italy, Legambiente and Greenpeace Italy, issued a joint statement saying that the Italian Government is yielding to pressure from oil companies and aims to free the drilling exclusion area of 12 miles of coastal marine protected areas for offshore oil drilling.
The abolition of the no-drill coastal zone would critically threaten coastal habitats, settlements and important economic sectors important for Italy, such as tourism and fisheries.
The environmental groups ask the Minister of Environment Corrado Clini not to yield to the pressures of the industrial world. They also raise a very important economic parameter: out of 59 oil companies that operated in Italy in 2010 only 5 have paid royalties. They claim that through special arrangements, Italy is the Wild West for oil companies: Italian oil is scarce and of poor quality and the country’s oil production is equivalent to 0.1% of global output.
Sources: WWF Italy (in Italian)