TO A KOŠICE PERSON FROM KOŠICE PEOPLE (Open letter to the chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Pavol Paška)
Slovak Society for Protection of Nature and Countryside - branch Košice 2013
(SZOPK, ZO Košice 2013, Ulica pokroku 7, 040 11 Košice, +421 905 384171, firstname.lastname@example.org)
TO A KOŠICE PERSON FROM KOŠICE PEOPLE
(Open letter to the chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Pavol Paška)
Mgr. Pavol Paška – chairman
National Council of the Slovak Republic
Námestie Alexandra Dubčeka 1
812 80 Bratislava 1
Mgr. Pavol Paška
Mestský park 1
040 01 Košice
In Košice on 26 February 2014
with much interest we listened to your speech at the National Council meeting taking place on 30 January 2014, where among the topics discussed was also one of the most serious problems that Košice, our city, has to face nowadays - the threat of future uranium mining at Jahodná.
In your speech you have, among other things, mentioned that "No member or representative of the SMER - Social Democracy party, neither at the city level, at the regional level nor at the highest executive level has ever supported any uranium mining".
As active citizens of Košice who have been intensively monitoring this problem for several years we would like to let you know that this statement of yours - unfortunately - doesn't correspond with reality. On the contrary, several representatives of the Smer-SD party have acted - more or less openly - in favour of uranium mining at Jahodná. Namely:
2009: Smer-SD MPs in the National Council didn't support any of the two law proposals aiming to ban uranium mining
(22 Oct 2009 - https://www.nrsr.sk/web/Default.aspx?sid=zakony%2Fzakon&MasterID=3006)
and to establish a moratorium on uranium mining in Slovakia, respectively
(9 Dec 2009 - https://www.nrsr.sk/web/Default.aspx?sid=zakony%2Fzakon&MasterID=3108).
In the former case, out of 49 Smer MPs who were present, 42 (including yourself) abstained from the vote and 7 even voted against a uranium mining ban! Except for Smer MPs, no other member of the National Council voted against the ban!
In the latter case, out of 49 Smer MPs who were present, only one voted for establishing a moratorium on uranium mining, 40 MPs abstained from the vote and 8 Smer MPs voted against! (with the exception of a single other vote by an HZDS-party MP, in this case, too, the only votes against a moratorium on uranium mining were cast by Smer MPs)
2010: Smer-SD MPs in the National Council have supported laws facilitating possible prevention of uranium mining in votes about amendments of geological and mining laws, strengthening the position of municipalities in permitting processes on exploration and mining of radioactive minerals (on 4 Feb 2010 and 3 Mar 2010, respectively) - however, here it is necessary to note that unlike the two laws that the Smer-SD MPs hadn't supported before, the amended versions of the geological and mining laws alone do NOT represent a real obstacle to uranium mining (moreover, according to our experience, they are not even able to prevent uranium exploration, even though this had been declared before).
2012: Minister of economy Tomáš Malatinský (nominated to the government by Smer-SD) signed on 14 Dec 2012 with a Canadian mining company European Uranium Resources a "Memorandum of Understanding", which in connection with uranium mining in the Jahodná-Kurišková area clearly stated that "The ministry shall support the permitting process" https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=433605900098632&set=a.433605796765309.1073741841.134640393328519&type=3&theater
2013: Ministry of environment led by a Smer-SD-member Peter Žiga on 31 Jan 2013 renewed the licence for exploration of uranium ores without consulting the affected municipalities (the decision was later declared unlawful by the general prosecutor). Subsequently, on 15 Feb 2013 the ministry of environment tried to propose another amendment of the geological law that would revoke the competences granted to the municipalities in 2010 (the proposal was not accepted only because of more than 7000 signatures of citizens against it collected in less than one week).
Apparently the prime minister and the Smer-SD-chairman Robert Fico, too, has unusually good relations with the representatives of the uranium company - so it seems according to the words of the Ludovika Energy CEO B. Bartalský quoted by SITA on 27 Sep 2013 ( https://www.venergetike.sk/aktuality/clanok/599-rozhovor-slovensko-nejavi-zau ) where he commented on the decision of the minister of environment from 7 Aug 2013, by which the minister had complied with the general prosecutor's protest and cancelled the previous decision of the ministry renewing the exploration licence for Ludovika Energy saying: "We have also informed about the situation the prime minister Robert Fico hoping that he would bring some rationality into this absurd situation. He forwarded the matter on to the minister of environment."
2014: Subsequently, the minister of environment on 10 Jan 2014 made a new decision, by which he complied with the appeal of Ludovika Energy despite the disagreement of citizens and the affected municipal communities with continuation of the exploration. Even the European Uranium Resources company (which is the parent company of Ludovika Energy), for which uranium mining at Jahodná is its primary goal, mentions in a presentation for its shareholders its "strong local Slovakian team and established government relationships at all levels" ( https://www.euresources.com/i/pdf/ppt/EUU_Presentation.pdf )
The above-quoted statement of the Canadian company, it seems, can also be confirmed by the fact that the prime minister Robert Fico in the government premises on 30 Jan 2014 has met representatives of several Slovak mining companies including Boris Bartalský, the CEO of Ludovika Energy
( https://www.teraz.sk/ekonomika/slovensko-banici-tazba-r-fico/72211-clanok.html ).
Therefore it is not difficult to understand why Robert Fico hesitates to answer in an affirmative way the question in our presidential survey, whether - in case he gets elected - he shall work towards imposing a moratorium on uranium mining and processing in Slovakia:
Taking into account all the facts above, it is absolutely natural to be in doubt as to what extent (if at all) you Mr. Paška as well as other Smer-SD representatives are willing to prevent uranium mining and processing in Košice, in the Jahodná-Kurišková area.
We would appreciate if you could dispel these doubts of ours - actually, they are not only the doubts of ours, but also the doubts of all the affected people. Please do not do it by emotive speeches in parliament but by real actions leading to prevention of uranium mining and processing. Please:
1. Make sure that the ministry of economy will withdraw from the Memorandum of understanding with European Uranium Resources or that the government will proclaim the memorandum null and void. As a person from Košice you have now a great opportunity to support the resolutions approved by the Košice City Council (dated 10 Feb 2014) and the Košice Region Council (24 Feb 2014), respectively, that are asking the minister of economy to withdraw from the afore-mentioned memorandum.
2. Try to persuade the prime minister so that he, too, shall work towards prevention of uranium mining and processing in Košice and shall not legitimize representatives of uranium mining companies by mutual meetings in government premises.
3. Make sure that the words from your National Council speech quoted in the beginning of this letter will become true in future, i.e. that in future no representative of Smer-SD at no level shall support uranium mining or processing and, vice versa, that they will support all the actions resulting into a ban on these activities.
With best regards,
Citizens' Initiative „Urán Košice STOP“
Slovak Society for Protection of Nature and Countryside - branch Košice 2013
JUDr. Mgr. Ladislav Rovinský – chairman
tel. +421 905 384171, +421 55 6428629
1. Doc. JUDr. Robert Fico, CSc., prime minister of Slovakia
2. MPs of the National Council of the Slovak Republic