Romania's 'irresponsible' attitude must be 'punished'

BELGRADE, Mar 14, 2000 -- (AFP) Serbian Environment Minister Branislav Blazic urged the international community Monday to "punish" Romania for its "irresponsible" attitude following a pollution leak, Tanjug agency reported.

"The international community ... must punish Romanians, who are provoking a second ecological catastophe in a short period of time," Blazic said.

In late January, a mine in Romania spilt 100,000 cubic metres of cyanide-laced sludge into the Szamos in Romania, which runs into the Tisza in Hungary and the Danube in Yugoslavia, before reaching the Black Sea.

In another spill Friday, some 20,000 tons of mud laced with heavy metals from Romania reached Hungary, after heavy rains and melting snow burst the dyke of a reservoir of the Baia Borsa mine in northern Romania.

Budapest on Monday banned the use of water from the Tisza.

"This irresponsible attitude of our neighbours must be finally condemned by the international community," Blazic said, adding that there could not be any "justification" for the new pollution spill.

Original article