Abandon coal |  The energy transmission will not be painless

(Luxembourg) About 2,000 Poles from the Solidarnosc union demonstrated in Luxembourg on Friday against the order of their country’s European judicial system to close the Turow coal mine, denouncing the “cruel and unilateral decision”.


The Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, Poland, in May ordered an “immediate halt” to the exploitation of the Toro mine, on the border of the Czech Republic, which complains of disturbances to its environment and water supplies. In September, the court ordered Warsaw to pay a daily fine of 500,000 euros, until the mine was closed.

“We are against the IJF shutting down the coal mine where 5,000 people work,” said Krzysztof Brezniak, one of the union leaders, who came with his troops to the European Quarter where police and barricades replaced officials.

“The judge wants to shut down a mine that supplies many people with coal and electricity,” said Stanislaw Kerklow, a Pole who lives in Belgium.

The Polish government refuses to move forward with closing the mine, asserting that it will have “negative consequences for the energy security of millions of Poles and for the entire European Union.” The lignite mine (poor quality coal) provides about 7% of Poland’s electricity.

“If it shuts down, we will have no work and no electricity,” complained Stanislaw Kerklow, calling for a dialogue between Prague and Warsaw, in order “to find solutions together.”

The procession, which proceeded peacefully, went to the embassy of the Czech Republic in central Luxembourg where four union leaders were received.

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Many families need this money to live. Much of the business depends on the mine. “The whole region is crumbling,” warned Albert Bodlow, a protester who spent 15 hours on the bus to come to Luxembourg.

Krzystztof Brezniak called for “more time”, in particular to allow for the change from “coal to solar”.

“Poland does not have nuclear energy,” Stanislaw Kirklow added, stressing that the operator has invested a lot in this mine. Polish public energy group PGE, which is owned and operated by it, plans to mine coal until 2044 and wants to expand it from 25 to 30 square kilometers.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has found himself in a hot seat at a European summit on Thursday and Friday, after a crisis sparked by the country’s controversial October 7 decision, which called into question the supremacy of European law over national law and the law. the National. Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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