The Balearic government yesterday announced that Balearic volunteers will be committed to the oil-spill clean up operation in north east Spain until June. Balearic leader Francesc Antich yesterday embarked on a two-day visit to the beaches of Camariñas in Galicia, one of the areas worst affected by the massive Prestige oil spill. On landing in Galicia, where Antich was met by the Mayor of Camariñas, Bautista Santos, the Balearic leader announced the region's commitment to the clean up operation. Antic said that, between now and June, each week a team of 50 volunteers will be sent to the region until June at the earliest and longer if necessary. The Prestige catastrophe has been used by the opposition PSOE socialist party against the Partido Popular government, but Antich said that he is not in Galicia “to be critical, but to help.” However, Antich did say that the lack of technical assistance in the region has not helped, adding “when there's an emergency of this kind on this scale, we can't be held back by budgets.” The Balearic operation will cost an estimated one million euros and amongst the volunteers will also be engineers to help the technical and logistical aspects of the clean up, especially in the environmental and medical fields. Mayor Santos thanked Antich for the Balearics' commitment to the cause, slamming those who have claimed no more volunteers are needed. “It's a ridiculous thing to say, if the volunteers don't keep coming, who's going to clean the beaches?” Santos said.

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