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EU candidates lack resources for environment

A LACK of qualified people and money is the biggest problem facing European Union candidate countries in the environmental area, European Commissioner for Environment Margot Wallstrom said in Brussels January 21.

At a meeting with candidate countries' environmental ministers - including Slovakia's László Miklós - Wallstrom warned that the new members could find themselves in court if they failed to meet EU standards in this area.

Miklós admitted that Slovakia had problems in implementing EU environmental legislation.

"Although the ministry has significantly increased its number of employees, the figure is still only one third of that required by the European Commission. It's all about money - if we had money, we would have administration, too," he said.

According to the EC, Slovakia should strengthen its control and monitoring system, as well as resolve concrete problems in the areas of household waste, air pollution, and sewage management.

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