Slovak Environment Minister Jozef Medveď confirmed on March 23 that his department would not support a project to build a crude oil pipeline across Žitný Ostrov, a protected area of Slovakia which is believed to be the largest source of drinking water in central Europe.
“The opinion of the Environment Ministry remains unchanged for now. We still hold to the status from 2005 concerning the Environmental Impact Assessment and I do not consider any unofficial standpoints relevant at the moment. I do not have information about continuation of works on the Austrian side,” the minister said at a press conference in Žilina, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
Construction of the pipeline, intended to connect the Bratislava-based oil refinery Slovnaft and the OMV refinery in the Austrian town of Schwechat, should have started in 2012, according to the original plans. Austria is interested in building the pipeline mainly to enable direct import of Russian crude oil.
A draft proposal to enable construction of the oil pipeline across Žitný Ostrov was submitted to parliament at the end of last year by Smer MP Peter Pelegrini. In response, activists organised the “No to Crude Oil Pipeline across Žitný Ostrov” petition.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
24. Mar 2010 at 14:00