MEPs set up Prestige disaster inquiry committee

European parliament to assess social, economic, environmental impacts of oil tanker sinkings

The European parliament has set up a committee of inquiry into the sinking of the Prestige oil tanker off Spain's Galician coast last year. The committee's remit also includes other recent marine disasters such as the Erika tanker incident off France. It will assess the accidents' socioeconomic and environmental impacts.

The committee's establishment follows a bitter struggle between MEPs from Spain's governing party, which opposed its creation, and those from opposition parties. Compromise terms of reference were drafted by Belgian MEP Dirk Sterckx, author of a parliamentary report on the Prestige.

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