No TAP protestors create roadblock as pipeline work resumes

Protests have resumed

 MELENDUGNO-- The No TAP protestors have resumed their protests, creating a roadblock, after the verdict of the Lazio Administrative Court gave the green light for the resuming of the works on the gas pipeline.

 Around 300 protestors erected barricades on Thursday night after the Lazio court consented the removal of the olive trees remaining on the site in the town in Puglia, and, in doing so, rejecting the region’s appeal against the installation of the pipeline.

 Two weeks ago the Lazio Administrative Court put a stop to the continuation of the works but, on reviewing the situation, they have decided to reject the residents’ appeal. For the governor of the Puglia Region, Michele Emiliano, however, the battle is not over. He’s encouraged the protestors to keep fighting, arguing that, “it’s not right that TAP damages one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and that kilometres of gas pipelines are being constructed under the biggest olive garden in Europe.”

 On April 6, the president of the third section of the Lazio Administrative Court, Gabriella da Michele, needing to give an urgent response to the residents’ complaints, released a decree suspending the actions of the Ministry of the Environment, which authorised the removal of the olive trees in the first place.

 The act was temporary and precautionary, pending the re-examination of the all aspects of the story by an assembly of judges. And indeed yesterday it was the council chamber that decided to reject the appeal, in line with the decision made by the Council of State on March 27.

 The administrator, Gianluigi Pellegrino, explains that “the route of the pipeline is result of the careful consideration of 12 solutions, from which the best one was chosen. The safeguarding of the olive trees is guaranteed.”

 In their rejection of the appeal, the court cited the reasons that the pipeline is of great benefit to the Italian State, and that the Ministry of the Environment should be allowed to use its discretion and authority to make such decisions.