Debate on oil pipeline in Bratislava postponed

The construction of an oil pipeline between Bratislava and Schwechat, Austria was originally slated for discussion during September’s city council meeting. However, now the Economy Ministry wants the expert discussion to take place first, and only then a public debate may open.

The construction of an oil pipeline between Bratislava and Schwechat, Austria was originally slated for discussion during September’s city council meeting. However, now the Economy Ministry wants the expert discussion to take place first, and only then a public debate may open.

On this issue, the representatives of Bratislava Self-governing Region (BSK) and those of the Nie Ropovodu (No to the Oil Pipeline) civic association met Bratislava Mayor Milan Ftáčnik.

“I still opine, however, that it is necessary to go for a public debate with citizens – this cannot be avoided. The issue is so grave that it cannot be solved only on the expert level,” Ftáčnik said after the meeting on September 11, as quoted by the TASr newswire.

Apart from the public debate, Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský’s scheduled appearance at the city council session has been postponed. Bratislava councillors denied a request back in June that the pipeline lead through the so-called City Corridor, while also asking government to re-route the oil pipeline through the so-called Carpathian Corridor, bypassing the capital. They wanted Malatinský to come in September and inform on the state of the project. Ftáčnik said minister’s message that he could not come as he was very busy but that he was ready to attend the October session of city council – planned for October 24.

Ftáčnik said, as quoted by TASR, that the planned expert discussion should take place during the break between the September and October sessions, and include city councillors, representatives of the BSK, the Nie Ropovodu civic association and environment experts and people from the Environment Ministry. City councillors will inform on its results.

The alternative pipeline routes were already discussed by the government in January. The Economy Ministry showed an analysis which recommends two routes crossing the Einsteinova and Dolnozemská streets of the Petržalka borough. A final decision shall be made before the end of this year. Several petitions and initiatives have been launched against the pipeline leading through Bratislava, including a model of the pipeline about 40 metres tall that has been erected in the Hviezdoslavovo Square on September 9 by activists from Nie Ropovodu, TASR wrote. The activists and representatives of citizens mostly miss precise information on the planned routes and a debate with locals whom the project will concern.

(Source: TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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