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Warsaw announces deal with Prague on Turów coal mine

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

The Czech Republic says it doesn’t plan to withdraw its lawsuit.

The Polish government announced Tuesday it reached a deal with the Czech Republic to put an end to a lawsuit over the future of the Turów brown coal mine.

Last week, the EU’s top court ordered Poland to cease extraction activities at the mine, which is located near the Czech and German borders, for the duration of a lawsuit filed by the Czech Republic challenging the mine’s permit.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the new agreement compels Poland to finance between €40 million and €45 million in projects to curb the mine’s impact on local groundwater and to coordinate with Prague on environmental issues related to Turów.

“As a result of the agreement, the Czech Republic will withdraw its lawsuit to the CJEU,” Morawiecki said.

However, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Tuesday denied that a deal had been reached, and insisted that Prague’s lawsuit would move forward. “We will not withdraw the lawsuit, I rule it out,” Babiš told Czech journalists.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller later clarified that the lawsuit would be withdrawn once the agreement was formally finalized at the national level.

The potential deal would mark a turnaround for the Polish government, which largely ignored the Czech Republic’s attempts to reach a settlement on the Turów mine over the course of 2020.

Despite complaints from Czech and German border communities, Polish utility PGE last year announced the mine would operate through 2044. Earlier this month, it opened a new 4.3 billion złoty (about €1 billion) lignite-fired unit at the Turów power plant.

On Monday, PGE’s deputy head, Paweł Śliwa, told an emergency meeting of a Polish parliamentary commission that closing the mine would cost some 13.5 billion złoty (€3 billion) and the loss of thousands of jobs.

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This article has been updated with the Czech response.

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/warsaw-announces-deal-with-prague-on-turow-coal-mine/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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