Hungary seeks compensation for Danube pollution

BUCHAREST, Apr 15, 2000 -- (AFP) Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday in Bucharest that his country would seek damages in the pollution of the Danube and its tributaries by Romanian mines.

"The harm has already been done and this problem is no longer in politicians' hands but in those of the judges," Orban said during a press conference with his Romanian counterpart Mugur Isarescu.

Isarescu's responded that legal action was being taken against the companies that caused the pollution.

In late January, a gold mining complex at Baia-Mare spilled cyanide-tainted water which devastated wildlife in Hungary's Tisza river before flowing into the Danube itself.

It was followed within a month and a half by two further spills involving heavy metals from another mining complex in northwest Romania.

Orban also said he was disappointed that Romania had still not ratified an environmental accord signed by both states, which Hungary's parliament has already approved.

He added that he was pushing for a similar accord among all neighboring states.

Original article