Prestige appears to be something that the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, has a problem earning. Its evident support for Spanish practices in the harassment of seafarers, in particular Captain Apostolos Mangouras of Prestige ill-fame is sufficiently irrational for the International and European Transport Workers Federations to send off a broadside at the weekend calling the ECHr’s decision”deeply flawed”.
In 2002, as Mangouras fought bravely to save his ship from disaster, French and Spanish authorities decided that it was better for the ship to break in two in rough weather and pollute their beaches that allow the vessel a safe haven. It was, at the very least, a decision of outrageous inhumanity. Spain got its polluted beaches, an inevitable and foreseeable result of its decision, and promptly arrested Mangouras.
Mangouras, now well into his late 60s, has yet to be tied before Spain’s criminal courts but was only released from detention in return for a blazingly irrational $4m bail and house arrest in Greece.
At least they stopped short of having him renditioned to Quantanamo Bay.
The ITF/ETC announcement captured some of the Kafka-esque flavour of Captain Mangouras’s situation: