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Czechs must have more nature reserves to get EU subsidies

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Prague, July 9 (CTK) – The Environment Ministry has proposed that 55 new localities with protected animals and plants be added to its nature protection area list by the end of the year because if Czechs did not do so, the EU might stop its subsidies, Deputy Environment Minister Vladimir Dolejsky told journalists Thursday.

The European Commission has long insisted on seven of them, Dolejsky said.

The ministry unveiled the list at the press conference.

Brussels has repeatedly asked the Czech Republic to add the seven localities to the list, but previous governments had never approved them, Dolejsky said.

These are, for example, the Labske udoli (Elbe Valley) in the Usti Region, north Bohemia, the Zdanicky les (Zdanice Forest), south Moravia, and Meandry Jihlavy (Jihlava River Meanders) in south Moravia, he added.

The Environment Ministry has sent a proposal to have new localities added to the national list of the European Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) for comments to other ministries, Dolejsky said.

Along with bird areas, the SACs are part of the European Natura 2000 system.

In addition, further subjects of protection will be added within the 70 existing localities. Another 11 SACs will be totally abolished and the boundaries of 253 SACs will be redrafted, Dolejsky said.

The ministries are expected to deal with the affair during the summer holidays.

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