Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - I welcome Parliament's initiative, which seeks to speed up the introduction of double hull tankers. The measures contained in the report are important both in enhancing maritime safety and in preventing the type of environmental disaster which the Galician coast recently suffered. In my constituency, Scotland, we are bordered by some of the most dangerous waters of Europe and have sadly experienced the environmental effects of oil tankers shedding their cargoes at sea. Sympathy for those whose livelihood suffered as a result of the Prestige disaster was expressed by residents of the Shetland islands of Scotland who suffered a similar fate in 1993, when the Braer sank off the Shetland coast. In the aftermath of last year's disaster, we questioned why lessons appeared not to have been learned from Scotland's experiences ten years ago. It is for this reason that I particularly welcome Parliament's aim to seek a swift agreement with the Council in order to prevent other coastal communities suffering the fate of Galicia or Shetland and would like to record my hope that member states will afford this legislation the priority it deserves.

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