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. Uruguay Takes Argentina To International Court Over River Blocks
Since last month, Argentine environmentalists have been blocking access to Uruguay because of concerns that pollution caused by the paper mill would devastate livelihoods along waterways in the area.
Since last month, Argentine environmentalists have been blocking access to Uruguay because of concerns that pollution caused by the paper mill would devastate livelihoods along waterways in the area.
by Staff Writers
The Hague (AFP) Dec 18, 2006
Uruguay on Monday asked the International Court of Justice to order Argentina to lift roadblocks which are stopping traffic across a border river between both South American countries. The blocks were erected by Argentine environmentalists in protest against a paper mill being built by Finnish company Botnia inside Uruguay near the Uruguay river separating the two neighbours.

Uruguay is accusing Argentinan authorities of "passivity" towards the protesters, and says Buenos Aires is using the blocks "to put extreme pressure on Uruguay to stop the construction of a factory".

Argentina had itself turned to the UN court in May, asking it to halt the mill project on the grounds that it violated a bilateral water deal because of heavy pollution.

Argentina on Monday said the question of the roadblocks was outside The Hague court's jurisdiction.

Since last month, Argentine environmentalists have been blocking access to Uruguay because of concerns that pollution caused by the mill would devastate livelihoods along waterways in the area.

The roads and bridges over the river have been the scenes of demonstrations and blockades for months by determined environmentalists and locals.

Some 22 percent of Uruguayan imports stem from Argentina, and Montevideo has argued that the protests are costing it millions of dollars.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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EU Nations Adopt Controversial REACH Chemical Bill
Brussels (AFP) Dec 18, 2006
EU environment ministers on Monday adopted, without debate, tough new rules on the use of hazardous chemicals, following the passage of one of the EU's most ambitious and hotly disputed legislative packages in years. The unanimous decision was largely expected after the European parliament last week adopted the relevant bill, has been derided by ecologists and industry but praised by consumer groups.

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