Coal mining opponents protest outside Swedish embassy in Prague


Prague, April 25 (CTK) – Opponents of the sale of coal mines in Lusatia, Germany, to the Czech EPH holding by the Vattenfall Swedish state-owned power company were running a recorded sound of an excavator outside the Swedish Embassy in Prague for some 45 minutes yesterday.
The Swedish government has not yet approved the sale. This is why the activists ask it to reject the transaction.
Similar protests have been staged in 13 European countries at least these days.
A dozen activists with banners reading “Do Not Sell the Future of Lusatia to Coal Moguls” in their hands called on the Swedish government to prefer keeping the coal from Vattenfall under the ground.
Apart from the loud sound of an excavator, the group was playing a warning in English and Swedish of that people in Lusatia would have to hear a similar sound for further decades and thousands of them would face a forced relocation.
The police were monitoring the protest.
The Swedish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Annika Jagander, talked to David Murphy, director of the Greenpeace Czech branch, for half an hour. They touched upon the climate change and the Friday signing of the Paris climate agreement in New York and the fulfilment of its goals.
According to Greenpeace, Jagander takes a similar stance as the organisation, and she promised to pass on the information to the Swedish government.
Jan Rovensky, head of the the Greenpeace’s energy campaign, said though the climate protection is a priority of the Swedish government, it would be hypocritical to protect the climate by a sale of coal mines.
In May, people from the whole Europe will block the mine that the EPH wants to buy in Lusatia within the Ende Gelaende event, Petra Nemcova, spokeswoman for the We are Limits organisation, said.
The EPH’s main shareholders are Daniel Kretinsky and Patrik Tkac, the rest of the stock is owned by the J&T group. The activists do not consider the EPH’s past a problem, but they mind its uncertain plans for the future.
Sixty million tonnes of brown coal are annually gained from the mines in Lusatia that the EPH intends to buy, which is 1.7 times more than in all surface mines in the Czech Republic together.