Czech Villagers Protest Against Turow Lignite Mine in Poland
AFP reported that located in the middle of Europe where the borders of Poland, Czech Republic and Germany open-cast Turow lignite mine, which spans 28 square kilometres and supplies a power station that accounts for some 7% of Poland's electricity consumption, is now at the centre of a bitter dispute between Prague and Warsaw. Complaints by locals have led the Czech government to file a lawsuit against Poland with the European Court of Justice. In May, the ECJ ordered Poland to suspend mining there, but the Polish government refused, leading the Czechs to ask the ECJ to fine Poland five million euros for each day the mine remains open.
The governments of both countries started official talks on the situation in June, vowing to strike a deal. Both Germany and the Czech Republic have complained about the mine and its planned expansion, saying that it has also caused increased noise and dust levels in the area.
But Poland's largest energy group PGE, which owns both the mine and the plant, is planning to extract coal at Turow until 2044. Operating since 1904, the mine employs some 4,000 people.