Budapest, November 2 (MTI) – The opposition LMP is urging the government to restart talks with Slovakia on diverting the Danube and turn to international forums if a new agreement is not achieved, the head of parliament’s sustainable development committee said on Sunday.

LMP’s Benedek R Sallai said in a statement that the Danube was diverted at Gabcikovo on the Slovak-Hungarian border 22 years ago and for the past 17 years, a Hague international court decision has been in force to resolve the situation. The Orban cabinet has for the past five years done nothing to repair the damage and settle the issue of water-sharing.

Only a fifth of the river’s water volume is flowing in the old river bed and the majority of the branches around the Szigetkoz island plain in the Danube have dried out, resulting in immeasurable ecological and economic damage, the statement said. At the same time, Slovakia has gained unilateral advantages by utilising the diverted water and electricity produced in the Gabcikovo dam which should theoretically also benefit Hungary, it added.

The Hague court ruled in 1997 that the two sides need to sign a new agreement on water sharing, repairing the environmental damage and the use of electricity.

LMP urges the government to inquire it Slovakia is willing to sign such a new agreement and if it is not, Hungary should seek a solution in international forums on settling the debate, the statement said.


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