Solidarios con Itoiz need your help urgently. The Itoiz Dam will start to be filled next month unless we act now to pressure the Spanish Government to impose a moratorium on the filling of the dam. A new report has been released which says the dam is very likely to cause catastrophe if its filled, but this has been ignored so far.
Here's a press release with the latest details. There will be more information soon.

Press release          February 9, 2001


Spanish authorities have decided this week to proceed with filling the controversial Itoiz Dam within the next month. This decision comes in the wake of a new report by an internationally renowned engineer that indicates the project has an extremely high risk of catastrophe, and would never be permitted in any other EU country.

Professor Arturo Rebollo Alonso will now go before the parliament in Navarra to explain the risks. His report shows there are seven "catastrophic points" in the project, and that any one of those should be enough to place the future of the project in doubt. One of the major risks identified by Professor Alonso was the combination of the instability of the dam site with the fact that the Asco Nuclear Power Plant is located down river from it. If the dam breaks the consequences could be extremely serious. SOLIDARIOS CON ITOIZ are calling for an immediate moratorium on the filling of the reservoir until an international panel of experts is confident that it is safe.

This new report supports the findings of other eminent geologists and engineers, including a report by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment itself, which labelled the project "maximum risk". Antonio Casas, Head of the Department of Geodynamics at the University of Zaragoza, also produced a report several years ago that advised there could be "catastrophic consequences" if the reservoir were filled.

The motives behind the construction of the Itoiz Dam have always been unclear, and local people have fought against it for 17 years. In the past, the project has been connected with high-level corruption. One former Prime Minister of Navarra and a former Minister of Public works have served prison sentences for fraud relating to the funds of the project. The strength of public opinion against the dam has meant it has become one of the most controversial environmental issues Spain has seen. The struggle against it has seen demonstrations of over 15,000 people and the imprisonment of several local people for non-violent actions against the project. Last year 'Solidarios con Itoiz' toured Europe spreading information about the dam, and doing spectacular actions at the tops of famous public monuments, including the Millennium Wheel in London, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and St Peters Dome in the Vatican. The protesters gained massive international support which has resulted in an international protest camp in the Basque Country, and numerous actions throughout Europe.

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