The Spanish upper house of parliament has approved the centre-right government's proposal to relax environmental legislation in areas such as water, waste and habitat protection. Some aspects of the law are seen as barriers to economic growth.
The text, approved on Wednesday, allows for exemptions from the Framework Water Directive's principle that water pricing should fully reflect infrastructure costs, opening the door to continued subsidies for irrigators. It also allows for water transfers to refill depleted aquifers and facilitates water trading.
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