European Union governments on Monday called for single-hull oil tankers to be phased out as part of their response to the Erika oil spill disaster. The EU wants to ban single-hull vessels like the Erika which ran aground off
the northern French coast in December 1999 spilling some 8,000 tons of fuel oil into
the sea to be banned at the latest by 2012. Transport ministers from the 15 EU countries agreed their common stance on Monday morning, in time to influence negotiations on the controversial ships at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) this week.