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Ido Liven
e-mail: ido.liven@bankwatch.org
Tel.: +48 22 892 00 86
skype: ido.bwn


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February 16, 2009

“RegioScars” awards for the most unsustainable spending of EU funds in Central and Eastern Europe were awarded today by CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe. The prizes went to two projects in the Czech Republic and Poland currently in line for support from EU regional aid, and to Latvia’s government for a decision to rule out wind energy projects from EU funds support because of the economic crisis.

January 20, 2009

Residents of the Bulgarian village of Poibrene have today taken their long-standing concerns about the potential introduction of controversial cyanide technology at the Chelopech gold mine – led by Canadian firm Dundee Precious Metals – directly to the Bulgarian ministries of environment and health and to the Sofia office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the publicly-owned development bank that is a potential funder of a USD 150 million project that could see cyanide leaching introduced at the gold mine without inclusive public consultation.

November 6, 2008

The environmental assessment (EIA) of a waste management project proposed by Sofia municipality to deal with the Bulgarian capital's chronic waste problems has been criticised by Bankwatch's Bulgarian member group Za Zemiata for failing to consider an alternative waste management scenario officially submitted by NGOs in collaboration with experts and researchers from Europe and the U.S. Such a procedural breach of Bulgarian EIA legislation should, believes Za Zemiata, rule out vital EU funding that the authorities in Sofia are seeking for the EUR 175 million project. [1]

November 1, 2008

3000 citizens from the city of Vlora in Albania held a large protest rally this weekend at the coastal site that has been designated as the construction site for an oil and gas terminal and a thermo power plant. The protestors called on national institutions to respect their right to a local referendum on the constructions. They also urged the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) not to provide finance for projects that do not respect local public rights to participate in decision making and that will have strong negative impacts in the very sensitive area of Vlora Bay. [1]

May 13, 2008

A newly-formed coalition of environmental and community groups [1] - Global Action on ArcelorMittal - today released a report showing how local residents and workers around the world pay the price of ArcelorMittal's success.

April 14, 2008

The district court in Vlora, Albania last week released three members of the Civic Alliance for the Protection of Vlora Bay [1] who were arrested and detained for two weeks after protesting against the construction of a hydrocarbons terminal in Vlora. The terminal, regarded by the protestors as bringing few benefits to the local economy in exchange for high environmental risks, is being built by the Italian investor La Petrolifera Italo Rumena. The project is currently seeking a EUR 15 million credit from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

February 25, 2008

A new map with details of 50 environmentally damaging and economically dubious infrastructure projects in Central and Eastern Europe was launched by CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe in Brussels today [1]. Based on the most extensive investigation to date, the map entitled 'Cohesion or Collision?' shows controversial projects with a total cost of EUR 22 billion. The projects are either already financed, or planned to be financed, by EU structural and cohesion funds and/or the European Investment Bank (EIB) [2].

November 29, 2007

With a resounding majority (540 MEPs in favour), the European Parliament today passed a resolution on trade and climate change which calls for "the discontinuation of public support, via export credit agencies and public investment banks, for fossil fuel projects". The step was widely welcomed by environmental and development NGOs campaigning on export credit agencies (ECAs) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

October 18, 2007

The selection of projects for billions of euros of EU funding in Poland is widely perceived by Polish municipalities to be politically-driven and non-transparent, new research conducted by Bankwatch member group the Institute of Environmental Economics (IEE) has found.

October 12, 2007

Vlora, Albania – The city council of Vlora in Albania this week approved a citizens’ initiative to hold a public referendum on the development in the picturesque Bay of Vlora of a 200,000 ton oil and gas terminal that is being promoted by the Italian La Petrolífera Italo Rumena company. If constructed, the terminal would become another component of a controversial industrial and energy park located less than six kilometres north of Vlora, a city of more than 150,000 inhabitants.