Kuchtova Does Not Conceal Austrian Financial Support

21. Juni 2006, 00:00

Green Party (SZ) deputy chairwoman Dana Kuchtova does not deny that the South Bohemian Mothers, an anti-nuclear...

Green Party (SZ) deputy chairwoman Dana Kuchtova does not deny that the South Bohemian Mothers, an anti-nuclear activist group she headed for many years, was subsidised from Austria, for which antitrust office (UOHS) chairman Martin Pecina criticised her last weekend.

Kuchtova said that the South Bohemian Mothers, opposed to the Temelin nuclear power plant situated in south Bohemia, received money from Austrian and German non-government foundations and NGOs such as the Upper Austrian Platform Against Nuclear Danger.

"I find it ridiculous that now, when we are in the EU, Mr Pecina worries about an organisation’s cross-border cooperation and presentation of projects abroad. In this respect, the South Bohemian Mothers anticipated modern developments. I hoped that Czech xenophobia is already over, but it is not the case with Mr Pecina," Kuchtova said.

Pecina, former deputy industry and trade minister, has criticised the Greens, who entered parliament for the first time in history in the June 2-3 elections, for their energy policy. He labeled the partys energy-related visions based on the refusal of nuclear energy as short-sighted and cheap gestures.

According to Pecina, it is not surprising that the Greens, a possible junior partner in the nascent centre-right government, are pushing for the new coalition agreement to ban the construction of further nuclear power plants and any extension of coal mining, as Kuchtova was paid from Austrian sources for her struggle against the Czech nuclear power plants.

Kuchtova recently labeled Pecinas speculations imprudent.

"Pecina does not speak wisely. What sources should I, a translator from German by training, be paid from? Yes, I also worked for money coming from Austria," she said.

Pecina, a former deputy industry minister for the Social Democrats (CSSD), is a co-author of the State Energy Outlook that reckons with the construction of two new nuclear reactors and is supported by politicians from the strongest parties, the CSSD and the Civic Democrats (ODS), as well as the State Nuclear Safety Authority (SUJB).

Pecina said on Sunday that the German energy industry which Czech activists admire as a model to follow is a warning example. In Germany "we can see the results of the Green ideologys infiltration in the energy industry. After the closure of nuclear power plants, the German countryside is cluttered by thousands of wind power plants and the consumption of gas in electricity generation has been rising," Pecina said.

In reaction to him, SZ chairman Martin Bursik said he could not imagine any EU country not sacking the chairman of the antitrust office, an independent authority, over such an arrogant and politically-motivated statement" in support of the nuclear lobby.

Outgoing PM Jiri Paroubek (CSSD) called Pecina a "correct civil servant" and said Pecinas statements have definitely been distorted.

"She turned the group, which the pro-atom lobby in the beginning depicted as crazy women, into a widely respected organisation. At present, it regularly receives information from both the CEZ energy utility (Temelins operator) and the State Nuclear Safety Authority (SUJB).

Kuchtova does not conceal that the South Bohemian Mothers have also applied for grants in Austria.

It was Kuchtova who during the talks with the SZs potential government partners on Monday night pushed for the coalition agreement to ban the construction of new nuclear reactors, a demand that "drove mainly the ODS negotiators up the wall," Mlada fronta Dnes writes.

"If the agreement did not contain this point, Id leave the Green Party," Kuchtova, who has reportedly accepted the post of education minister in the new cabinet, is quoted as saying.

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