Premier: Economic Interests Can’t Come Before Protection of Nature

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Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 11 (TASR) – No one’s economic interests should be superior to environmental protection, stated Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) after meeting Environment Minister Laszlo Solymos (Most-Hid) on Monday.

“When Slovakia decides that its priority is to protect the environment and preserve sites, it’s the alpha and omega … it’s the law, and economic laws can’t cross this border,” he said.

Regarding the protection of forests in Slovakia, the premier expects a clear answer as to whether the country wants to protect its natural beauty or favour the business activities of private forest owners and state-owned company Lesy SR. In this regard, Pellegrini welcomes an amendment to the Nature Conservation Act that is being drawn up by the Environment Ministry.

The ministry views a programme statement concerning environment strategy until 2030 as its top priority. The document has been drawn up by more than 160 experts and has been commented on by some 800 people. At the same time Solymos pointed to many rare habitats in Slovakia that have to be protected.

Among the Environment Ministry’s other priorities are the EIA environmental assessment process, the law on protecting water management areas, the protection of underground drinking water and its identified resources, higher air protection, waste management and protection against floods.