Vol. 1, No. 134, 8 October 1997
SLOVAKIA REJECTS HUNGARIAN "ZERO" PROPOSAL FOLLOWING
HAGUE RULING... Spokeswoman Magda Pospisilova on 7 October said
the Slovak government will not accept the zero option that Hungarian
Prime Minister Gyula Horn proposed following the Hague Court's 25
September ruling on settling mutual claims for damages related to
the controversial Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric power project.
Pospisilova said Horn's suggestion that both countries should waive
claims is premature and propagandistic. She cited remarks by the
Slovak attorney at the hearing, who said that paying damages and
paying construction costs are two different things. Therefore,
Pospisilova said, Hungary should pay the costs of the work that
Slovakia carried out after Hungary had withdrawn from the
...WHILE HORN ADMITS "ERROR" IN HUNGARIAN DEFENSE. Prime
Minister Gyula Horn says Hungary was wrong to cite only
environmental reasons for its withdrawal from the Gabcikovo-
Nagymaros project at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Horn said the losses to the economy and to shipping should also have
been mentioned before the court, Reuters reported on 7 October. He
said the planned bilateral talks with Slovakia must now embrace all
aspects of the issue, including Danube navigation, energy production,
and sewage purification.
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES REFERENDUM QUESTIONS. The
parliament on 7 October approved the three questions for the
planned referendum on NATO membership and land ownership by
foreign companies registered in Hungary. President Arpad Goncz
must now decide whether to endorse the referendum. Opposition
deputies, who are against holding a referendum on both issues and
oppose the formulation of the two questions on land ownership,
walked out in protest before the vote, Hungarian media reported. At
a meeting with Goncz earlier the same day, Tamas Deutsch, the
deputy chairman of the Young Democrats, and Zoltan Pokorny, the
chairman of the party's parliamentary faction, asked the president
not to call a referendum until the Constitutional Court has ruled on
an opposition appeal against the plebiscite. Goncz said he will strictly
abide by the constitution and the "interests of the people."
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