Paldiski, Estonia, 28 September 2006 - Speaking onboard the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise today, European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas praised the international environmental organisation for blockading the Probo Koala and for "filling the gaps in the implementation of European law".
Greenpeace skepp Arctic Sunrise hindrar giftskeppet Probo Koala från att lämna hamnen i den estniska staden Paldiski och har stämplat skeppet som en "EU Toxic Crime Scene". En dryg dryg månad tidigare dumpade Probo Koala miljögifter i Abidjan i Elfenbenskusten. Sju människor dog och 44 000 sökte sjukvård.
Commissioner Stavros travelled to Paldiski to receive a first hand account of the events which led the Estonian authorities to detain the Probo Koala following a three day blockade of the ship by the Arctic Sunrise. Stavros
said: "I think what Greenpeace did was actually very important in filling the gaps in the implementation of European law."
Stavros added: "I will seek ways and means to reinforce the existing waste shipment regulation and its implementation by the Member States. I also plan to put forward a proposal to criminalise certain environmentally damaging practices such as the one perpetrated."
After welcoming the Commissioner on board the Arctic Sunrise, Bruno Rebelle, Greenpeace International Programme Director, commented: ""We welcome the visit by Commissioner Dimas and hope that he will use all of the resources of his office to establish the full chain of culpability which led to the Probo Koala poisoning and killing people in the Ivory Coast. We trust that we have not heard the last from Commissioner Dimas and hope in future that European regulators and enforcement agencies will prevent any further tragedies of this kind."