Hungarian environmentalists call for minister's sacking

BBC, April 10, 2000

[Presenter] Hungarian environmental organizations urge the dismissal of the minister of environmental protection [Pal Pepo]. After their national conference, Andras Lukacs, chairman of the working party Air [Hungarian: Levegoe], said: Pal Pepo ought to step down because relations between the Green organizations and the ministry have reached a low point. Sandor Forgacs reports:

[Forgacs] The environmentalists are dissatisfied with the work of the minister of environmental protection. According to them, the ministry's international reputation is unfavorable, the ministry's activity lacks transparency and public opinion polls indicate that the minister of environmental protection is the least accepted. For this reason, the national conference issued a statement asking the government to take the necessary measures to change the situation without delay.

It was said at the press briefing after the conference that the civil organizations dealing with environmental protection were recognized to be assuming state tasks, but the organizations had satisfactory ties with a few offices, only. The delegates believe that environmental dangers increased over the past years, and for this reason the work of the members of the Green movement is needed all the more. They offered their assistance in eliminating the [after-effects of the] catastrophes on the Tisza. They also demand an immediate end to the cutting down of forests in the rivers' catchment basins and the planting of trees in the denuded areas.

The positions taken by the national conference are being sent in the form of a letter to the chancellery [Prime Minister's Office] and several ministries. Not one official institution was represented at the three-day conference.

Original article