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Czech Minister Tells Germany To Collect Rubbish Or Pay For Removal

A firefighter checks the scene of a burning illegal waste dump in Libceves village, north Bohemia, some 90 km from Prague, Czech Republic. Hundreds of tonnes of the waste illegally brought from Germany were stored at the waste dump and burnt by the fire. Photo courtesy of Michal Cizek and AFP.
by Staff Writers
Prague (AFP) Apr 18, 2006
Czech Environment Minister Libor Ambrozek on Monday threatened to make a German region foot the bill for removing waste illegally dumped in the Czech Republic.

Ambrozek said Czech authorities would give the German state of Saxony-Anhalt until the end of April to remove about 4,000 tonnes of waste from a former cow farm at Libceves, in the north of the country, which has become a notorious dumping site.

If the German region did not react, it would be made to pay the cost of the clean-up, which was estimated at some five million koruna (175,000 euros, 214,000 dollars), he said.

Ambrozek was speaking after the dump at Libceves caught fire on Sunday for the third time since it was discovered in January by the Czech authorities, who fear that the dump will pollute local groundwater.

He also threatened to take Germany to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg unless the problem was resolved.

The Czech government claims some 15,000 tonnes of German waste has been smuggled over the border into the Czech republic since the beginning of the year after Germany tightened rules on waste processing and recycling.

Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has complained to German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the matter, while Ambrozek has urged the European Union not to allow new and relatively poor member states to become dumping grounds for wealthier ones.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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