Czech president begins Austria visit with trip to Danube-Oder canal project site

President Miloš Zeman on Tuesday began a three-day visit to Austria, during which he will visit the construction site of the Danube-Oder Canal, a pet project of his.

The ambitious project, partially begun already in the late 1930s, aims to link the waterways of Austria to Moravia via canals liking the Danube, Oder and Elbe rivers.

Proponents view the centuries-old vision of a canal linking the rivers as a brilliant way to open routes for the landlocked Czech Republic to three seas – a “Suez canal for Bohemia”.

Opponents see it as an exorbitant project of monumental folly that would endanger water quality in all three river basins and erase precious floodplains from the map of Central Europe.

Author: Brian Kenety