Opponents of the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) have erected barricades to prevent construction work in the city of Meledugno.
An Italian court rejected an appeal to suspend a Ministry of Ecology order to remove trees in Melendugno on April 20 and allowed TAP to continue work on the construction of the gas pipeline and the transplantation of trees.
After the announcement of the court’s decision, 300 activists of the No TAP committee blocked the construction site. They built barricades on all roads leading to the construction site so as not to allow through excavators and bulldozers for construction.
Activists say that, despite the court’s decision, they will take all steps to change the route of the TAP gas pipeline, including appealing to the Constitutional Court. According to them, apart from olive trees, the construction of a gas pipeline may cause damage to one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
No Tap activists have been actively protesting since mid-March after the consortium of TAP began transplanting perennial olive trees from the San Foca region in the Salento region, along which the gas pipeline will pass.
The Committee of No TAP, which is headed by the head of the movement “Cinque Stelle”, (
It. Five stars,
which has 22% of the votes in the Italian parliament, the leader of which is Beppe Grillo) started the protest against the transplantation of trees. On March 29 there were fierce clashes between participants of the protest and the police.
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a pipeline for the transport of natural gas from the Caspian and from the Middle East to Western Europe. The route of the gas pipeline is 520 km long. It passes through Greece, Albania, the Adriatic Sea, 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.