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LMP, DK call on government to freeze battery plant projects

The opposition LMP and Democratic Coalition parties have called on the government to put a freeze on battery plant investments in the country.

At its “marathon” three-day cabinet meeting this week, the government omitted to take the views of ordinary Hungarians, experts and greens into consideration, and halt “highly polluting and harmful” battery plant investments in Hungary, Mate Kanasz-Nagy, deputy leader of LMP’s parliamentary group, said on Thursday.

Kanasz-Nagy noted that a demonstration planned for Thursday evening in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, is going ahead.

DK environmental spokesman Olivio Kocsis-Cake, at an online news briefing, cited the Financial Times as saying that the government subsidy for the battery plant in Debrecen totalled 320 billion forints, and he demanded the government reveal how much it is spending on subsidising the building of battery plants.

Kocsis-Cake demanded that all battery plants already operating or under construction in Hungary should be reassessed with the help of independent experts from the point of view of environmental protection, water management and the labour market.

Daniel Z. Karpat, an MP of the opposition Jobbik party, proposed that battery manufacturers should be required to meet conditions ensuring the protection of Hungarian water resources. Also, the organised import of guest workers should cease, he said, adding that Hungarians should make up 95 percent of the workforce at the plants.

He called for the suspension of the subsidies given to the battery manufacturers and urged the government to support job creation and retention by domestic small and medium-sized businesses instead of multinationals.

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