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LMP proposes committee hearing on battery plants

Opposition LMP on Thursday proposed a hearing of Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, and Energy Minister Csaba Lantos by parliament's sustainable growth committee on the battery plants to be constructed in Hungary.

Addressing an online press conference, committee head Laszlo Lorant Keresztes said he had asked questions on the water demand of existing and planned battery plants “at official forums”, but her received no answer and the information had been classified secret.

In addition to the two ministers, representatives of the battery association should also be heard, he said.

LMP requires information on what extent the government plans to use the water resources, what environmental effects and risks it involves, and what damage to the interests of the public can be demonstrated during the operation so far. They also want to know “how such chaos could have arisen” in the licensing of battery plants and a situation like the one in God, in central Hungary, where the government office did not obligate the manufacturer to carry out monitoring activities, Keresztes said.

He said that while the water utility system in Hungary is on the verge of collapse, the government was spending a lot of public funds to meet the water needs of battery manufacturers. The most important task and the greatest challenge today is the protection of water resources, he said, adding that this should be treated as a national strategic priority.

He said the government was selling out the water resources to the “foreign battery manufacturers” at a great risk to the environment.

Keresztes noted that a protest will be organised in Debrecen on February 9.

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