DRILL AWAY: The Spanish government on Friday authorized oil drilling off the Canary Islands, one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, in a bid to ease the country's expensive dependence on crude imports. Spain imports more than 99 percent of its oil.
THE DETAILS: The government awarded a permit to the Spanish company Repsol YPF SA to drill off the Canary Islands, which receive some 9 million visitors a year. The company expects to start drilling in two years or so.
THE BACKGROUND: Spain is under intense pressure to reduce its deficit and convince international investors that its economy can return to growth, become competitive, and deal with the painful fallout of a burst real estate bubble.