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Tenerife protesters perched on top of 70ft crane in bid to halt luxury new five-star hotel 

Protesters against a new luxury hotel are perched on a crane 70ft above the ground in Tenerife.

The two environmentalists are campaigning
against the building of a new five-star hotel near the resort of El Medano near
the south airport, claiming it is too near to the seafront and is spoiling the
natural beauty of the area.

The couple climbed to the top of the crane on
Tuesday and have so far battled against a court order to bring them down and
won their argument to be given food, drink and provisions. The delivery was
made by local firemen.

The unfolding drama is being watched by more
than 1,000 people who have dubbed the scenes “Tenerife’s latest tourist
attraction.”

The campaigners have released video footage
from their vantage point showing how high winds are buffeting the crane and
their precarious position which supporters say could easily end in their death
should they lose their footing.

The protests against the construction of the
hotel at La Tejita have been raging for some time but the crane-top demo is a
first on the island.

The two activists are carrying out their vigil
off their own back but have the support of the “Save La Tejita”
association which has been calling for work on the hotel to stop, alleging
non-compliance with national and European regulations.

“The environmental damage will be
irreparable, ” said a spokesman.

At one stage during the protest, a human chain
formed around the skeleton of the hotel to stop  police moving in.
Spectators have been gathering from all over Tenerife and other islands of the
Canaries as news of the protest has spread.

The activists are only identifying themselves
as “blue crane” and “red crane” and say they won’t come
down until “works stop”. They have admitted to being very nervous and
worried about falling although they are secured by harnesses.

“It makes us dizzy but we will resist
whatever it takes,” they said.

The Canary government has demanded that work
on the hotel stops and a petition has been launched with more than 11,000
signatures. Public protests are also being planned.

The new beach hotel, now held up for four
years, envisages 136 double rooms and 33 suites. The developers deny the hotel
will spoil the area and have been fighting environmental challenges in the
courts.

Grandilla council says the developers sought
and have all the correct permissions.