Wednesday, 23 April 2014

ČR, Slovakia to cooperate on nuclear energy issues

30 October 2012

Uherske Hradiste, south Moravia, Oct 29 (CTK) - The Czech Republic and Slovakia will cooperate in nuclear energy issues and will defend the right to use nuclear energy within the European Union (EU), both countries' prime ministers agreed at a meeting in Uherske Hradiste yesterday.

Both countries have a strong industrial potential and they cannot do without stable supplies of electricity for affordable prices, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said after the meeting of both countries' government.

"Further continuation of the nuclear energy programme in Slovakia and the Czech Republic is our joint interest, and in both countries it is a national interest," Necas said.

"Not everybody in Europe likes the fact that the Czech Republic and Slovakia build their energy security on nuclear power plants. There are countries that would welcome...if nuclear power plants had problems or were closed," Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said, adding he was against such a possibility in principle.

"Each country has the right to decide on its own energy mix - to decide how many percent of energy will be generated from nuke plants. We cannot imagine energy security without nuclear plants," Fico said.

Stress tests have confirmed that both Czech and Slovak nuclear power plants have high safety standards, Fico noted.

The Slovak government is in favour of a merger of the Czech and Slovak freight railway carriers CD Cargo and ZSSK Cargo, respectively, Fico also said after the meeting.

The Czech Republic has been interested in such a merger for a long time. According to experts, the merger would help both carriers resist the German and Russian competition.

Slovakia is currently looking for a strategic partner for ZSSK Cargo. "We do not want to privatise the company but we are looking for somebody to form a joint venture with us," Fico said.

While ZSSK Cargo is struggling with debts, CD Cargo is tackling with falling sales and an increasing loss. For full 2012 the company expects to post a loss of Kc233m, compared with last year's Kc60m.

The Czech carrier has been looking for a partner since 2007. Besides the Slovak carrier, it has also shown interest in a majority stake in Poland's PKP Cargo.

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