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Slovakia to defend ban on water exports at court

Staff writer |
Slovakia will legally defend the complaint of a Polish firm over the fact that since 2014 the Slovak Constitution has banned water exports abroad unless it's for consumer packaging or humanitarian ends.

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The European Commission has initiated legal proceedings against the Slovak Republic in this respect over creating obstacles to the free movement of goods.

"It's a standard process that the Commission starts against any country concerning infringement. We will defend ourselves with all means," said Slovak environment minister Peter Ziga, adding he was not concerned about potential fines.

Ziga pointed out that the Polish company behind the lawsuit wanted to draw water from Slovakia to its homeland via a pipeline and subsequently package it in plastic bottles.

"We don't stand in their way. They can do the same thing on the Slovak side, create wealth, pay taxes and employ people. In this we would even support it. But to have someone make a drill on Slovak soil, export water through the pipeline abroad and there do with it whatever they please, that's not happening," said Ziga, believing that in the future, other European countries would adopt similar legislation.

"It'll be a serious problem not only in Europe but across the world. Since we have some reserves and they're not evenly stretched out in Slovakia, we need to protect them for future generations," concluded Ziga.

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