Vote on national parks postponed

22-02-2017

The lower house has postponed the vote on a controversial bill on care for the country’s national parks. The Senate-proposed bill includes changes predominantly backing the interests of villages located inside nature reserves, plans for local development and the tourist industry. Some of the country’s leading academics and four former environment ministers have protested against the amendment arguing that the proposed changes would severely restrict possibilities for environmental protection and would have far-reaching consequences for the country’s national parks. Their view has been supported by more than 47,000 people, who signed a petition against the Senate-proposed amendment. President Miloš Zeman visited the lower house on Tuesday to speak in support of the Senate-proposed bill. He warned against “green fanaticism”, arguing that increasing the number of non-intervention zones in the Šumava national park will lead to its further devastation. Mr Zeman has previously said that if the lower house doesn’t approved the changes proposed by the Senate, he will veto the bill.