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Debrecen mayor urges government to withdraw emergency decree

The (ruling Fidesz) mayor of Debrecen, Laszlo Papp, has urged the government to withdraw an emergency decree that allows government agencies to forego fining companies that pollute the environment.

The abandonment of rules that threaten the sanction of closure in favour of a contract allowing the polluter to resolve the violation by a certain deadline “is unacceptable”, Papp said in a statement on Monday.

He said the public placed its trust in state bodies to act to protect the environment in a strict and consistent manner.

The mayor of the eastern Hungarian city said this is why Hungary’s “strictest environmental protection permit that goes far beyond European Union regulations” was created in Debrecen in respect of the future CATL battery plant.

He said the government had promised to amend the decree and ensure it only applied to metal plants, noting that it had been directed at the troubled Dunaferr steel plant.

“Words must be followed by deeds,” he said.

“Efforts to save Dunaferr are important, but should not be made at the expense of slipping out of environmental protection rules,” he said, adding that battery plants should definitely be bound by strict rules.

“The safety of Debrecen’s citizens is not about a contract but an inescapable duty,” Papp said.

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