Prime Minister Robert Fico said the government views Slovakia’s forests as a national treasure and will never allow the state to lose control over them because of their enormous importance to the nation's economy.
Fico was speaking at a public meeting with approximately 1,300 foresters in front of the government office on May 16. The foresters said they want to draw public attention to what happened during the recent attempts to extract fallen trees from the Tichá and Kôprová valleys in the High Tatras and how it has affected their community.
Chairman of the Slovak Forestry Chamber (SLsK) Jan Malko presented a declaration to Fico in which the SLsK claims that its work has been significantly undermined by NGOs that have no responsibility for neither the present state, nor the future of Slovakia's forests.
According to the SLsK, clearing the fallen trees is a sound ecological practice as it helps prevent an infestation of bark beetles.
However, the foresters work was blockaded by environmentalists and now even Brussels has called on the Slovak Environment Ministry to stop work in the valleys until there has been a thorough investigation into the situation.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
17. May 2007 at 12:43