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Most-Híd political party says oil pipeline could endanger drinking water

The Most-Híd political party does not intend to wait until the Slovak government grants construction approval for a crude oil pipeline through Žitný Ostrov in sourthern Slovakia which the party says could endanger Slovakia's drinking-water reservoirs, said Zsolt Simon, an independent MP and member of Most-Hid in Bratislava on November 30, the TASR newswire reported.

The Most-Híd political party does not intend to wait until the Slovak government grants construction approval for a crude oil pipeline through Žitný Ostrov in sourthern Slovakia which the party says could endanger Slovakia's drinking-water reservoirs, said Zsolt Simon, an independent MP and member of Most-Hid in Bratislava on November 30, the TASR newswire reported.

The party has decided to address Slovak and Austrian environmental as well as water-management organisations and to organise a conference entitled “What's in the Slovak public interest? Protection of drinking water supplies or endangering it for Austrian interests?” to be held on December 17.

“We think there is no time to lose since it is possible to build on someone else’s property without their consent if it is in the ‘state’s interest’ they could start construction tomorrow,” said Simon to TASR.

He said that Slovakia is endangering water resources to serve the interests of Austria which wasn’t even willing to lend a helping hand to Slovakia during the gas crisis in January. He also said that the government has been trying since the beginning of the year to build the pipeline, adding that several legislative changes that would allow the project to be carried out were adopted only via footnotes to bills.

According to Simon, a decision pertaining to environmental issues could be adopted by the government on December 2 that would allow the pipeline to be built, even though an environmental impact study recommended for it not to be built.

Economy Ministry spokesman Branislav Zvara responded that, in total, four routes for the pipeline are still being looked at and no final decision has been made. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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