Hungary asks Romania to shut down hazardous plants

BUDAPEST, Mar 15, 2000 -- (Reuters) Hungary has asked Romania to identify and shut down industrial plants that pose further environmental hazards, a Hungarian government spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The Foreign Ministry will also initiate a series of agreements that will comprehensively settle environmental issues (with Romania)," government spokesman Gabor Borokai told a news conference after the government's regular meeting.

The steps come after spills from Romanian plants that have heavily polluted Hungary's second largest river, the Tisza, twice in a row.

Borokai also said that Romania's Ambassador in Budapest was summoned to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry because the situation was "extraordinary and serious".

Earlier Hungary said it would seek the help of the European Union in identifying further potential environmental disaster spots in Romania.

Experts of the United Nations are currently assessing the damage caused to the Tisza due to a spill of heavy metal residues from a state-owned plant in northern Romania.

Original article