The Spanish government was condemned by the European court of justice on Thursday for breaching the EU’s 1979 birds directive. Spain has failed to designate sufficient special protected areas in seven regions, EU judges ruled. They backed the European commission's claim that 31.5 per cent of national territory should be designated as protected areas instead of only 16 per cent now. This is a particularly high share of national territory compared with other EU countries due to Spain's rich biodiversity, campaign group Birdlife said. See judgement in case C-235/04 and Birdlife statement.
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