Czech-Austrian relations strained over Temelin
There have been mixed feelings amongst Czech politicians regarding Austria's protests over the activation of the controversial nuclear power plant in the South Bohemian town of Temelin. As September 15th, the activation date for the station, draws near, Czech-Austrian relations appear to be worsening. Dita Asiedu has more:
On Tuesday, the Austrian parliament passed a resolution against Temelin, which will now be discussed by the European Parliament. The ongoing disputes between Vienna and Prague on the activation of the nuclear power plant now seem to have reached a peak and sparked off mixed reactions from Czech government officials. Libor Secka, the Czech ambassador to the EU, addressed a letter to the European Parliament in which he expressed his disappointment in the way the matter had been approached, as the Czech government was not informed about the resolution in advance, and could therefore not present its standpoint on the issue.
Whilst the Czech government claims to have considered all safety standards, Austria says that many discrepancies may still exist, as it believes that important documents on Temelin's safety have been withheld. I spoke to Vaclav Zak, editor-in-chief of "Listy", a political bi-monthly, and asked him how serious he believed the Temelin dispute to be: Although the Czech government does not think that Austria could threaten the Czech Republic's chances for EU membership, there seem to be mixed feelings amongst Czech politicians over how the matter was handled. Deputy Chairman of the Freedom Union Vladimir Mlynar says the Czech government has reacted arrogantly to Austria's concerns and should have given them more attention. On the other hand, Health Minister Bohumil Fiser believes Austria's protests to be unjustified.
So how are Czech-Austrian relations at the moment? According to government spokesman, Libor Roucek, Austria is trying hard to discredit the Czech Republic in the eyes of the EU, but adds that communications are better at lower levels: