US Embassy fence causes Bratislava protest

OVER 100 people protested on February 21 the plans of the United States Embassy in Bratislava to build a three-metre high security fence in the capital's historic centre, the news wire SITA wrote.

Yet another protest is planed for February 28. Marián Nemec, the organiser, said that this time a petition against the construction would be part of the event.

The protesters claim that the fence would damage architectural site of the historical Hviezdoslav Square.

However, embassy officials claim that the fence is unavoidable for securing the safety of embassy employees.

The embassy has the right to protect its surroundings based on an agreement it signed with former Bratislava Mayor Jozef Moravčík in 2002. According to the agreement, the city gives the United States exclusive and unrestricted rights to control access to the security zone, including the right to stop traffic in the zone.

However, according to the civil association com.Plot, the Regional Office for Historical Monuments breached the law when it approved the construction of the fence.

Slovakia's Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský also criticised the plans for the fence.

"At a time when walls and barriers are being torn down around the world, building this fence in the capital of Slovakia would not be good," Hrušovský said.

The Bratislava City Council has proposed around 10 new locations for the embassy, four of which are the city's property.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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