Parliament unites to pass Law on Waste
Parliament passed one of the most difficult pieces of environmental legislation, the Law on Waste, May 15 in a rare case of coalition and opposition accord. Of 119 members of parliament (MPs) present, 115 voted in favour of the law, prompting Environment Minister Lászlo Miklós to thank the MPs for their cooperation in passing the crucial legislation.
The Parliamentary Environmental Committee submitted more than 207 proposals to change the cabinet draft of the law. The most problematic issue was the Recycling Fund, securing its control and operations, and calculating future recycling fees. The new legislation matches EU requirements and should see the restarting of recycling programmes for paper, glass, plastic, batteries, old cars, tires, electronic waste, iron packaging materials and bulbs.
Kukan: Slovakia supports US missile defence
Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan said that Slovakia supports US plans to build its National Missile Defence (NMD) system. Speaking in Bratislava on May 10, Kukan added that Slovakia would also welcome an initiative to create a defensive shield around NATO members.
František Šebej, head of the Slovak integration committee, said that the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty between the US and the Soviet Union preventing the development of missile defence systems was a Cold War relic which should have been eliminated long ago. When the treaty was signed in 1972, he said, there were only two superpowers with ballistic missiles, while today the number is higher.
Mária Kadlečíková nominated for Hamžík's post
Ousted Deputy PM for Integration Pavol Hamžík nominated Party of Civic Understanding (SOP) colleague Mária Kadlečíková as his replacement on May 14. Kadlečíková said she would try to bring more transparency to the distribution and funding of projects sponsored by the European Union.
Kadlečíková added that communication between government departments needed improvement. Hamžík was fired after he allegedly failed to inform Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda that the EC had sent a letter expressing concern over how EU funds were being distributed some three weeks before the media reported the situation.
Compiled by Chris Togneri
From SITA and TASR
21. May 2001 at 0:00