Hundreds of thousands of Spanish citizens hit the streets of Madrid on Sunday to protest the national government’s poor handling of the Prestige oil tanker spill, which has been labeled the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history. Hundreds of chartered buses brought in protesters from Galicia, the region whose environment and economy have been devastated by the November spill off the country’s northwestern coast. Protesters, many with black tears painted on their faces and mock oil stains on their clothes, demanded the resignation of government officials whom they accused of failing to coordinate effective cleanup efforts and misleading the public about the severity of the disaster. Meanwhile, Greenpeace is calling on the European Union to prosecute Spain for its mishandling of the oil spill, saying the Spanish government violated E.U. laws by letting the tanker sink and release its cargo into the sea.
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