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Constitution will protect water

AS MANY as 102 MPs, including 23 from opposition parties, passed the constitutional ban on exporting water at the October 21 session, the TASR newswire reported.

AS MANY as 102 MPs, including 23 from opposition parties, passed the constitutional ban on exporting water at the October 21 session, the TASR newswire reported.

The fourth article of the constitution which pertains to raw natural resources will now contain a new paragraph stating that “the transport of water taken from water bodies situated on Slovakia’s territory across the borders through means of transport or pipelines is banned; the ban does not apply to water for personal consumption, bottled drinking water and bottled mineral water in Slovakia and the provision of humanitarian aid and aid in an emergency situation”, as reported by TASR.

The current version of the amendment is a result of the compromise agreement between ruling Smer and the opposition, the SITA newswire wrote. Smer introduced the constitutional amendment after the original draft amendment to the law on water had been slammed by both the opposition and the public. Environment Minister Peter Žiga was said to be trying to privatise water resources. He denied the claim, which was to be proved by the ambition to add the ban on water exports into the constitution.

“There could be a low amount of water sometime in the future; therefore, we inserted the measure to the legislation where the government will be able to ban or limit the export of water in some cases,” Žiga said, as quoted by the Pravda daily.

The parliament also passed an amending proposal submitted by Ľudovít Kaník of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) that concerned better protection of Slovakia’s mineral resources.

“The Slovak Republic protects and cultivates these riches, carefully and effectively using non-organic deposits and natural heritage to the advantage of its citizens and future generations,” the sentence in question reads, as quoted by TASR.

Some NGOs are however concerned about Kaník’s proposal, since they believe it could make it easier for mining companies to get approval for their mining activities, the Pravda daily reported October 22.

“It may be a general statement, but it could also have complications and consequences in the form of motivating MPs into changing their minds when it comes to mining,” Roman Podhradský from Podpoľanie Before Gold (Podpoľanie nad zlato) civic association said, as quoted by Pravda.

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