Friday, June 8, 2007

Oil spill trial

"Judges may also consider civil damages of €1 billion, or $1.35 billion, in the case, which involves lawyers for Total, its subsidiaries Total Petroleum Services and Total Transport, and Bertrand Thouilin, head of legal affairs for shipping at the company.

The Erika, a 24-year-old tanker, split in two off the coast of Brittany in a storm on the night of Dec. 12, 1999. About 20,000 tons of heavy fuel spilled into the sea and along beaches, killing tens of thousands of birds and polluting about 400 kilometers, or 250 miles, of coast. RINA, an Italian company that checks ships' safety, had said the Erika was seaworthy; after the accident it was found to have a rusted hull. Total denies responsibility for the spill."

That's about as much oil as the Israelis spilled in Lebanon in July 2006 after they bombed the Jiyyeh power plant. So we have now a precedent, and a figure for the amount we should be asking for JUST FOR THE SPILL, not counting other damages from this special bombing episode. Do you think the UN will give us an International Tribunal for that? I mean we could really use the money. Will they impose it on Israel using the seventh article of the UN charter? More importantly: will the Sanioura government ask for it?

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