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Protests Against Adriatic Oil Drilling Gaining Momentum

casBy: Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance

The public opposition to the Croatian government’s plan to drill for oil in Adriatic sea has been steadily growing both domestically and internationally. The voices are getting louder and more organized on websites and in the media…

Who has been speaking up to save the Adriatic sea?

In just two weeks the avaaz.org Italian language petition garnered more than 125,000 signatures.

Web news portals tris.com and h-alter.org and others are providing constant coverage to the growing protest.

The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries has released a public statement critical of the strategic environmental assessment. The Director Dr. Sc. Nedo Vrgoč states that it:

does not give a relevant description of recent ecological status of the Adriatic Sea, nor adequately considers the potential negative effects on the ecosystem and supporting economic activity (especially fishing and marine culture) as a result of activities related to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, or that elaborates on and proposes different alternative solutions to mitigate the negative effects

Davor Škrlec Member of the European Parliament has released a YouTube video and comments on his website strongly criticizing the Croatian government’s misinformation and disregard for the ecological and human effects of oil drilling in the Adriatic sea.

Vjeran Piršić, president of the group Eko Kvarner has throwndown the gauntlet. He has declared to the government that they must stop the plans now or facedown the public with a referendum initiative which has enough support to pass.

A new Croatian language Facebook site: Referendum Protiv Bušenja u Jadranu doubled in likes overnight and continues to gain popularity.

Croatian singer Meri Cetinić is supporting the protest via her Facebook page.

A simple google search for referendum protiv busenja (referendum against drilling) garners more than 7,000 pages.

Facing the same issue in Montenegro, Green Energy is organizing against exploitation plans for Adriatic sea just 3km from the shore. They are planning cooperation with groups including Pokret pet zvjezdica, WWF Italija, Zelena Akcija, WWF Adria, Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance and other organizations from Montenegro, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Albania and Greece.

Rambo Amadeus, musician and artist from Montenegro has spoken out publicly stating that he is strongly against oil and gas exploitation in the Adriatic sea.

So, who has been listening?

It appears the Croatian government is finally taking notice. Announced on azu.hr, Dalmatia is finally invited to have it’s say on the “environmental” plan in a series of sessions to be held in Dubrovnik, Zadar and Sibenik starting today, February 4th.

This is your chance to show up and tell them what you think of their plans. Ask them about their ‘highest environmental standards’ and even address the real terms of the contracts that have no realistic means of bringing any economic benefit to Croatia.

If you can’t make it yourself, you can email your concerns to [email protected]. We’ll be happy to gather them together and be your voice at one of the public meetings.

And who else should be listening?

The oil contractors. Marathon Oil, INA (MOL), OMV, ENI and Medoilgas, should be watching very closely what happens in Croatia over the next few months while they are negotiating the terms of their contract. Croatians will not stand by idle while their sea is given away by corrupt, self-serving politicians. Croatia’s neighbors won’t stay quiet either.

CASA’s best advice to the oil companies is to cut your losses and get out now! You will be challenged publically, politically, legally and scientifically. Keep your paltry signing bonuses, we know you won’t bring any jobs, you have no environmental standards, and your contract terms suck. The drills and the spills are not welcome here!

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