Appeal to the new minister of economy P. Žiga
SLOVAK UNION OF NATURE AND LANDSCAPE PROTECTORS
WORKING GROUP „Košice 2013“ (ZO SZOPK Košice 2013)
Ulica pokroku 7, 040 11 Košice, tel: +421 905 384171, email@example.com
Ing. Peter Žiga, PhD. – minister of economy
Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic
827 15 Bratislava 212
Košice, 4 April 2016
We would like to congratulate you to your appointment as the new minister of economy of the Slovak Republic and we would like to wish you a lot of success in your work. At the same time, judging by your previous position in the government, we hope that – unlike your predecessors – when making decisions in your new position, you will also be taking into account the influence of economic activities on the environment of the affected people.
You can probably remember several of our mutual encounters in the past when you were still the minister of environment and we communicated to you the attitude of the vast majority of the citizens of Košice and its neighbourhoods (confirmed by several resolutions of the Košice City Council and the Košice Region Council) who are strictly against the planned mining of radioactive minerals in the Jahodná recreational area. At these encounters you were assuring us that you, too, are against the mining and you have also expressed the attitude in public several times – for example, at the meeting of the Košice City Council on 15 April 2013 you have said:
“I am strictly against uranium mining in Košice and I am ready to undertake all the available steps and to use all the available means to prevent uranium mining at Jahodná.”
Unfortunately, your predecessor-ministers of economy, starting from T. Malatinský, his successor P. Pavlis, interim minister of economy P. Kažimír until the most recent former minister V. Hudák, haven't adopted the position of the affected people. On the contrary, they either promoted activities openly aimed at supporting companies trying to launch uranium mining and processing at Jahodná (T. Malatinský signed a Memorandum of understanding with an interested Canadian mining company), ignored the repeated appeals of the citizens and their regional representatives to stop such activities or were blocking the efforts of the municipalities, above all of the city of Košice and the Košice region, to introduce effective measures preventing the mining to zoning plans (municipalities' efforts to change the zoning plan so that it would officially and mandatorily declare mining activities inadmissible in the Jahodná-Kurišková area and/or the mining of radioactive minerals inadmissible in the territory of the Košice Region were blocked by negative opinions of the Ministry of Economy and its subordinate District mining bureau).
The above-mentioned pro-mining attitude of the ministry of economy (demonstrated by Malatinský's memorandum and by blocking incorporation of a mining ban into the zoning plan) is perceived also by Ludovika Energy, a company whose representatives are continuously trying to push forward their plans for uranium mining at Jahodná already since 2005. In their efforts to launch uranium mining they have not been discouraged even by the amendment of the Geological Act in 2014 – instead of ending their activities at Jahodná, in 2015 they have applied for a new radioactive minerals exploration area and for a new geological licence. This clearly indicates that they don't consider the 2014 legislative change an obstacle and that in order to effectively prevent uranium mining it is necessary for state institutions to undertake further steps.
As the new minister of economy and (based on your public statements) also a uranium mining opponent, you have now an excellent opportunity to help the citizens of your home town to get rid of the uranium threat. For that to happen, it is necessary to carry out at least the following steps:
· To make sure, that the Ministry of Economy and all its subordinate authorities with decision making power – mining bureaus – will as soon as possible change their negative opinions blocking the legitimate efforts of the municipalities to incorporate a ban on radioactive minerals mining to the binding sections of their zoning plans. (The negative opinions represent obstacles for the municipalities to fulfill their responsibilities with regards to planning their own development granted to them by the law).
The necessity to incorporate a ban on uranium mining to the zoning plan of the city was also declared by Richard Raši, your political party co-member and the mayor of Košice, who on 7 October 2014 undersigned the following public statement:
“As the mayor I will under all circumstances be against uranium mining and processing at Jahodná or in any other part of the city of Košice. I will make sure that an explicit ban on uranium mining and processing will be incorporated into the binding part of the zoning plan of the city of Košice.”
It now depends on you, whether you will let R. Raši fulfill his promise to the voters or not.
· To make sure, that the Ministry of Economy cancels the Memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak republic and European Uranium Resources Ltd., signed by former minister Malatinský, as its contents are in contradiction not only to several strategic documents (e.g. the Development Programme of the City of Košice 2015-2020 or the Economic and Social Development Programme of the Košice Region 2016-2022) but also to the constitutional rights of the citizens of Slovakia (chapters 44 and 40 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic).
In our mutual discussion at the Municipality office of Košice on 9 January 2014 we have suggested to you that you should tell your former minister-colleague Malatinský to pull out of the Memorandum, to which you have reacted by saying “I can ask him to do that, we can even ask him together...”. We don't know whether you have done so, however, the fact is that T. Malatinský didn't cancel the memorandum – now YOU have an opportunity to cancel this harmful Malatinský's memorandum yourself! Take advantage of it – the citizens of your home town expect it from you.
Slovak Union of Nature and Landscape Protectors
Working group „Košice 2013“
JUDr. Mgr. Ladislav Rovinský – chairman
1. A copy of the Memorandum
2. Resolution of the Košice Region Council no. 15/2014
3. Resolution of the Košice City Council no. 710/2013
4. Public promise of the mayor of Košice dated 7 Oct 2014
Carbon Copies To:
1. Doc. JUDr. Róbert Fico, CSc. – prime minister of Slovakia
2. JUDr. Zdenko Trebuľa – Košice Region Council chairman
3. MUDr. Richard Raši, PhD., MPH – mayor of the city of Košice