At a meeting held on 3 March at the headquarters of the Deputy Directorate General for the Environment in Madrid, representatives of the municipalities in the north of the province of Almería affected by the route of the line, specifically the mayors of Taberno, (Antonio Martos), Oria (Marcos Reche), Vélez Rubio (Pepe Marrero) and Vicente Reche as well as representatives of the town council of Albox, together with members of the Plataforma SOS Salvemos Sierra de las Estancias, Luis Garcia and Julia Garcia, accompanied by the lawyer from the law firm Serranos y Asociados Jesús Blasco, met with the deputy director general of Environmental Assessment, Eugenio Jesús Domínguez and his team.
On behalf of those affected, the Ministry technicians were informed of the enormous social rejection of the project to cross the Sierra de Las Estancias through the 400 KV high voltage line that would link Baza and La Ribina, with towers over 70 metres high. If the current proposal is maintained, this infrastructure would have a serious impact on ecosystems, rural and religious tourism, as well as on the cultivation of organic almond trees, the main economic livelihood of the region.
They also stressed what they consider to be “enormous gaps and flaws in the environmental reports that Red Eléctrica is using to pass the line through the Estancias”, as it clearly omits much of the environmental and landscape biodiversity of this area. It was also recalled that the town councils are in the process of approving motions urging the Andalusian Regional Government to declare the Sierra de Las Estancias a Special Area of Conservation (ZEC), included in the Natura 2000 Network.
MITECO informed that they are aware of the enormous social rejection generated by the infrastructure, which has materialised in more than 5000 allegations, demonstrations and a tractorada which interrupted traffic on the A-92 motorway last January. MITECO reminded those present that although Red Eléctrica Española is the promoter of the project, it is the Ministry of Ecological Transition that has the last word and that its intention is to be extraordinarily scrupulous with all the environmental procedures involved in a project of this magnitude.
The SOS Salvemos Las Estancias Platform also informs that in the coming weeks, social activities and mobilisations will continue until Red Eléctrica Española and its territorial delegate in Andalucía withdraw the project “after listening to the social clamour”.