Insight Central Europe News

Poland continues push for new debate on EU voting deal

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski has repeated demands to reopen discussion on the voting system in the new European Union reform treaty. Warsaw maintains it won an unwritten concession that countries could delay an EU decision for up to two years if they fell just short of the votes needed to defeat it. EU leaders say the deal was only to allow a delay for a maximum of about four months. Speaking on public television this week President Kaczynski said the issue should be discussed at the next intergovernmental conference.

Hungary's population to fall below 10 million

A new report says Hungary's population will fall below ten million by the year 2010. The figures from the Central Statistics office said the population had fallen by 60,000 in the last three years and by a similar amount in the previous three years. Hungary's population peaked in 1980 at 10.75 million. The report says the decline would be even greater if not for inward migration.

Czech FM calls for mediation between Prague and Vienna over Temelin

Czech foreign minister Karl Schwarzenberg has called for a neutral third state to mediate in the dispute between Prague and Vienna over the nuclear power station at Temelin. Speaking in Vienna he said he believed Austria's concerns about Temelin were exaggerated but called for independent experts to advise both countries. Austria has complained that safety standards at Temelin are inadequate and Austrian anti-nuclear activates regularly block border crossings between the two countries.

Protests over Slovak power station plans

A Slovak plan to build a coal-fired power station near Hungary's Tokaj wine growing region is causing protests in both countries. If built the plant at Trebisov would become Slovakia's largest coal fired power station. Opponents say it would emit millions of tons of pollution each year with much of it falling on the famous wine growing region. A decision by the local government in Trebisov on whether to approve the project is due on July 10th.

Slovenia rejects OECD criticism over corruption commission

Slovenia has rejected criticism from the OECD over its dismantling of an anti-corruption commission. Government spokes-person Valentin Hajdinjak said the reason for abolishing the commission in its current form was that it differed from those in other EU member states. He said planned changes to the law would bring in tighter controls on corruption.