EU gives Poland a week to stop bog work

 

(Note: Using the Language Deception of "protected," "rare," etc., look how much arbitrary control is taken by the few who perceive themselves to be all-powerful.)

 

February 28, 2007

 

By Raf Casert, Associated Press writer rcasert@ap.org

 

Brussels, Belgium - The European Union said Wednesday it has given Poland a week to stop work on a highway running through a protected habitat in a test case of how new EU member states deal with environmental issues.

"We don't accept irreversible damage,'' said EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. If the Polish government does not back down in a week, Dimas said he will seek an injunction from the EU's highest court to suspend the highway project.

Polish authorities have approved plans to construct a 10-mile section of the Via Baltica highway linking the country to Finland through a protected peat bog where rare eagles, wolves and lynx roam.

Dimas called the Rospuda River valley one of the best maintained primeval forests of central Europe. He said that since clearance work in the wetlands was about to start on the highway project, he had no option but to threaten to take the member state to court and get a suspension of the works.

The newer EU member states are fighting similar battles as they're forced to balance environmental preservation with a desire for an economic boost.

Poland joined the EU in 2004; Bulgaria and Romania, the newest members, joined in January.

"They should not start work. It is very simple. They should not cut down the trees. How will we get them back?'' Dimas asked. The valley is protected by the European Union's habitat law NATURA 2000.

In Warsaw, Polish Transport Minister Jerzy Polaczek said Poland is prepared to defend its stance at the EU court.

"We are ready for that because we are presenting a matter-of-fact, objective and I think a very detailed argument of our reasons.''

He said the Polish government remained open to further talks with Dimas and other EU officials over the disputed highway.

Under EU rules, Dimas sent a second warning Wednesday, and barring a positive answer from Warsaw within a week, the court procedure will start.

Environmental groups backed Dimas' approach.

"We recognize the need for improved infrastructure in Poland, but any development must follow the EU legal framework,'' said Marta Wisniewska of WWF Poland.

 

Copyright 2007, The GuardianUK.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6447471,00.html 

 

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Polish authorities have approved plans to construct a 10-mile section of the Via Baltica highway linking the country to Finland through a protected peat bog where rare eagles, wolves and lynx roam. Dimas called the Rospuda River valley one of the best ...
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