Slovakia’s largest opposition party, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), on May 26 renewed its criticism of a planned broad-gauge railway project to link Russia and Vienna via Slovakia and Ukraine as ‘harmful to Slovakia’.
The comments were in response to a new announcement from Prime Minister Robert Fico about government preparations for feasibility studies into the project, the TASR newswire wrote.
“The project directly threatens 1,500 jobs at the trans-shipment hubs at Čierna nad Tisou and Dobrá in Košice region,” SDKÚ MP Viliam Novotný told reporters, adding that jobs will be moved at the expense of Slovak taxpayers to Vienna, with the already cash-strapped Cargo rail transport company losing out on freight orders as well.
Another SDKÚ MP, Štefan Kuzma, said that the only other beneficiary of the project apart with Austria will be Russia, whose trains and engine drivers will be able to move goods across Slovakia to Vienna as well.
As an alternative, the SDKÚ instead called on Fico to initiate construction of the R4 freeway – Milhošť-Košice-Prešov-Vyšný Komárnik – that would connect eastern Slovakia with the European highway system and make the east of the country more attractive to investors. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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