Environmentalists block Austrian-Czech border crossings in protest of Temelin

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On Saturday, more than 2,000 Upper Austrians, protesting against the activation of a nuclear power plant in Temelin, blocked three Czech-Austrian border crossings between upper Austria and southern Bohemia for five-hours. With the activation date drawing near, Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner is doing everything in her power to hold it back, due to fears over safety standards. However, this theory seems to be falling through, as according to the Czech government, a joint Austrian-Czech commission of experts on nuclear energy has checked the plant and has given it the go-ahead. But Austria says that its own experts were not given all the necessary documents to properly review the plant's safety measures.

On Saturday, more than 2,000 Upper Austrians, protesting against the activation of a nuclear power plant in Temelin, blocked three Czech-Austrian border crossings between upper Austria and southern Bohemia for five-hours. With the activation date drawing near, Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner is doing everything in her power to hold it back, due to fears over safety standards. However, this theory seems to be falling through, as according to the Czech government, a joint Austrian-Czech commission of experts on nuclear energy has checked the plant and has given it the go-ahead. But Austria says that its own experts were not given all the necessary documents to properly review the plant's safety measures.

Threatening to block the Czech Republic's entry to the European Union, Benita Ferrero-Waldner has tried several times to make Temelin a European affair and made a public plea to Germany on Thursday to express its support. But German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer made it clear that although Germany understood Austria's concerns, there is no need for it to be of EU concern. But according to a public opinion poll made by the Austrian paper Kleine Zeitung, 92% of those polled believed that the deactivation of Temelin must be a condition for Czech EU membership. Dita Asiedu spoke to Czech Government spokesman Libor Roucek and asked him first whether Austria poses a threat to Czech EU membership: Although Temelin seems to be a clear-cut case to the Czech government, leaks recorded at the plant over the weekend may shed a different light on the issue.