Yesterday evening in the Italian city of Melendugno opponents of the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) clashed with police,
writes the Italian paper la Repubblica.
Opponents of the construction of the pipeline tried to block the movement of construction equipment of the company that is building the pipeline to deliver Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
According to the newspaper, previously there was an unspoken agreement on the suspension of the construction work that was supposed to last throughout the summer.
This was done in order not to harm the tourist season. However, a convoy of construction equipment, accompanied by armored police cars, arrived on the scene who were soon met by opponents of the pipeline in Melendugno.
Opponents of the construction barricaded entrance to the site but within an hour were dispersed by the police. The demonstration was attended by the mayors of the cities of Martano and Melendugno. Clashes with police continued well on past midnight.
Tensions around the TAP have been raging since the middle of March after the TAP consortium began transplanting perennial olive trees from the San Foca region through which the gas pipeline will pass.
The “No TAP” Committee, headed by the head of the “Five Star” (Cinque Stelle) movement Beppe Grillo, started a protest against the transplantation of the olive trees back in late March. Fierce clashes between the participants of the opposition demonstration and the police took place on March 29.
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a pipeline envisioned to transport natural gas from the Caspian region to Western Europe. The route of the gas pipeline is 520 km long. It passes through Greece, Albania, the Adriatic Sea and Italy. It is expected that it will become part of the Southern Gas Corridor, thus continuing the chain from the South Caucasus Gas Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum) and the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (Turkey).
The estimated capacity of the gas pipeline is 10 billion cubic meters per year, with the possibility of increasing the capacity to 20 billion cubic meters.