EU commissioner tours Hungary, Romania to assess damage
BUCHAREST, Feb 21, 2000 -- (RFE/RL) EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom on February 17 visited the Romanian town of Baia Mare and the Hungarian city of Szolnok to assess the damage caused by the cyanide spill in the Szamos and Tisza Rivers. Wallstrom was joined by the Hungarian and Romanian Environment Ministers, Pal Pepo and Romica Tomescu. At a news conference in Szolnok, she said the EU will not get involved in efforts by individual countries to receive compensation but added that "whoever is responsible for the pollution should pay. " She also criticized the Australian Esmeralda company, which co-owns the mine that caused the spill, saying the company could face stiff penalties.