Prague, Feb 21 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman stood up against the extension of territories left to spontaneous development in the Sumava National Park (NPS) in his speech in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, yesterday.
He threatened to veto the bill if MPs approved it in the original wording when he was leaving the lower house.
Zeman defended the Senate version of the draft rules of national parks. He said Sumava would wither sooner or later if the lower house’s bill were adopted.
He spoke about “green fanatics” and “a fictitious wilderness” in his speech.
Zeman also criticised the Green Party (SZ) as well as former Green environment minister Martin Bursik.
“Do not trust green fanatics, those who are turning one of the most beautiful places of the Czech land into their experimental field. They have already destroyed a lot,” Zeman said.
A tree attacked by the bark beetle used to be cut in timber forests, which was a good practice, Zeman said.
However, he added, this ended ten years ago when Bursik headed the Environment Ministry and when female environmental activists tied themselves up to the trees hit by the bark beetle and prevented lumberjacks from cutting such trees. These steps led to the exorbitant spread of the bark beetle, he added.
In connection with zones left to spontaneous development, Zeman spoke about the creation of “Potemkin villages,” that is constructions only built to deceive others into thinking that a situation is better than it really is.
“There is nothing sadder than the dying of trees. When they are dying because of fanatics who would like to have artificial, not natural wilderness,” Zeman said.
Zeman wants the Chamber of Deputies to pass the Senate version of the bill though he said in his speech he was not a strong supporter of the Senate’s existence in general.
The Senate, the upper house of parliament, wants to change the passage on the purpose of national parks, increase the rights of local municipalities and lift the 15-year moratorium on the division of parks into particular zones according to the protection level in the amendment to the law on nature and landscape protection.
The critics of the Senate’s proposals say they might cause the end of national parks as the most valuable protected areas since they would degrade them to a considerably lower level.
The opponents of the MPs’ amendment, for their part, point mainly to Sumava, saying without the senators’s proposed changes, the legislation would seriously afflict local inhabitants and even make them move.