President, FinMin "win" Czech anti-environmental prizes


25.04.2014 13:55

Brno - Czech President Milos Zeman has "won" Oil Guzzler, mock prize for the worst anti-environmental step in 2013, and Finance Minister Andrej Babis won the Green Pearl for the worst statement, Miroslav Patrik, from the Friends of the Earth group, said on behalf of the organisers today.


Prezident Miloš Zeman je letošním držitelem ekologické anticeny Ropák roku. Získal ji za podporu výstavby 380 km dlouhého plavebního kanálu Dunaj-Odra-Labe. Na snímku je předseda spolku Děti Země Miroslav Patrik při vyhlašování vítězů ekologických anticen 25. dubna v Brně. ČTK Šálek Václav

Zeman has been "awarded" for his promotion of the 380km-long Danube-Oder-Elbe water corridor project.

The Green Pearl goes to Babis (ANO) for a statement he made as the Agrofert Holding´s head of the board of directors last May.

On he said "we will collapse in face of democracy one day, all of us. How else can it be explained that a badger and an eco-terrorist [are invited to] comment on our motorway projects, while every mayor, too, wants to have his own road link to a motorway."

Babis´s idea of democracy is inappropriate, as democracy mainly rests in the discussion of people on how the society should develop. It does not rest in the decision-making of those above and the obedience of those below, Patrik said.

Zeman has earned criticism for his support to the water corridor that would cost 400 billion crowns.

If built, the project would destroy the remnants of the natural ecosystems of Central Europe and it would only benefit construction firms, the critics from among environmentalists, economists and transport experts say.

Zeman opposes them saying that the project would create 60,000 new jobs in the next 15 years. In addition, it would help prevent disastrous floods, Zeman said today, cited by his spokesman.

Zeman discussed the project with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer at the EU´s Eastern Partnership summit in Prague today, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK.

Zeman has "won" the Oil Guzzler prize several times in the past, for his support to lifting the coal mining limits in north Bohemia, to the cutting of bark-beetle-hit spruces in the Sumava National Park and to the now scrapped plan to build another two nuclear units in the Temelin power plant in south Bohemia.

The anti-environmental prizes were awarded for the 22nd time this year. The organisers chose the winners from 19 nominees proposed for Oil Guzzler and 44 nominees for Green Pearl.

Last year, the two mock prizes went to former environment minister Tomas Chalupa and former president Vaclav Klaus, respectively.

($1=19.857 crowns)

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