Austria and Slovakia Disagree on Completion of Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant

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Slovak Premier Eduard Heger and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 15 (TASR) – Austria and Slovakia disagree on the issue of the Mochovce nuclear power plant’s (NPP) completion, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a joint press conference in Bratislava on Tuesday.

Heger assured his Austrian partner that Slovakia will do its best to ensure that the launch follows the highest standards and is safe.

Kurz noted that Austria has a generally negative attitude towards nuclear energy all over the world, as it views nuclear energy and nuclear power stations as risks for safety. He noted that this opinion isn’t targeted solely against Slovakia.

“Thanks to good cooperation, we achieved an agreement on mutual recognition of certificates quickly and easily,” said Heger, adding that Slovakia recognises Austrian antigen tests as of Monday (June 14). Their primary interest is that the ease of movement of citizens between Slovakia and Austria is as high as possible.

Heger stated that the coronavirus pandemic has not yet ended and stressed the importance of vaccination in the fight against it. He believes that Slovakia will manage to follow Austria’s success in vaccination, where some 70 percent of the population should be vaccinated by the end of July.

Kurz and Heger also discussed how the two countries might help third countries to fight the pandemic, for example through vaccines. They stated that the improved epidemiological situation allows for the development of trade and business relations between the two countries. Austria is a significant trade partner of Slovakia and at the same time the third largest investor in the country.

During their meeting, the two premiers also touched the issues like transport infrastructure, science, environment and tourism. They also discussed cycling routes from the viewpoint of mutual border relations. Heger defined migration and their positions before the upcoming European Council meeting as an important issue. “We agree with Austria on the importance of putting great emphasis on the protection of the EU’s external borders,” said Heger, adding they realise that the countries of first contact need to be helped, either with the presence of police officers or in terms of material.

Following their bilateral talks, Heger and Kurz will participate in the GLOBSEC 2021 Bratislava Forum conference.