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EIB loan process for D1 highway suspended due to environmental complaint

The approval process for a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the construction of the D1 highway has been temporarily suspended, the TASR newsire was told by the NGO Friends of the Earth’s media representative, Irena Jenčová, on December 21.

The approval process for a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the construction of the D1 highway has been temporarily suspended, the TASR newsire was told by the NGO Friends of the Earth’s media representative, Irena Jenčová, on December 21.

The bank was reacting to a complaint from Friends of the Earth and SOS-BirdLife Slovakia which had informed the EIB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the EU Commission about multiple violations of national and international legislation in the planning of a section of the D1 highway.

The Environment Ministry in 2002 approved building the highway via the Korbelka tunnel near the village of Šútovo, thereby avoiding surface construction in protected areas. The National Highway Company (NDS) ignored this measure and pushed for a surface variant that would pass through the Malá and Veľká Fatra national parks, other protected areas from the Natura 2000 system and an area close to Šútovo.

The ministry's measures weren't taken into account by the relevant construction office either, and this, according to the environmental groups constitutes a violation of national and international legislation. EIB said that before the loan is signed the accused party must present documents that will either confirm or refute the violation charged. According to the bank's statement, NDS must prove that no other alternative to surface construction exists. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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