Austrian environmentalists plan more border blockades

09-02-2001

Austrian environmentalists have threatened further blockades of the Czech-Austrian border over the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia. Temelin has been a cause of friction between the Czech Republic and Austria over the past six months, and border blockades were held in September and October by Austrians who are concerned over safety standards at the plant. Following these blockades, an agreement was reached by Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel in December to carry out an environmental impact study at Temelin. The Czech government also promised that Temelin would not commence commercial operations until the study has been completed. But environmentalists say that no plan for the study has been produced, and so they intend to blockade border crossings next weekend in protest. The Austrian ambassador to Prague, Klaus Daublebsky, has called on protestors to negotiate rather than blockade the borders.