Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-050"

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"Madam President, the European Commission decided to file a case against Poland at the European Court of Justice because it began to build a section of road that was 1 500 metres longer than the road that is currently used by lorries and five kilometres of which infringes on land protected by the Natura 2000 programme. The current state of the road is so appalling that residents have dubbed it the ‘road of death’. In 2006 alone, 14 people died and 25 were injured on that stretch of road near the small town of Augustów. Postponing the construction of the road by three to five years, as this is the minimum amount of time that the Court will need to deal with the case, and perhaps having to start from scratch with the investment process, may lead to another 40 to 70 deaths. I would also like to mention the noise pollution created by the thousands of lorries which pass through Augustów and the potentially lethal threat of accidents involving lorries transporting dangerous goods through built-up areas. The habitats directive permits investment in projects on Natura 2000 land in exceptional circumstances, if compensation is offered. Last Sunday, nearly 92% of local residents voted in a referendum in favour of the designated new route. Is this stance on the part of the residents not enough reason to withdraw the case filed at the European Court of Justice? If the Commission does not decide to withdraw its complaint, it will show that it has not been able to fairly balance the opinions of a small but significant minority in the Directorate-General for the Environment, environmental groups and eco-terrorists, as well as the expectations and needs of the inhabitants, which both the mayor and the Marshall of the Voivodship presented to the Commission. In this situation, if the alternative methods for building a bridge across the Rospuda Valley do not satisfy the Commission, a serious conflict may erupt, which threatens to permanently paralyse and block the road that is currently used. In view of how determined the local residents are, and I know that they are because I, unlike the others here, actually live in that area, anything is possible. If the aforementioned road is not going to be built soon, we should perhaps consider opening negotiations with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, with a view to diverting transit traffic from the Baltic states through these countries."@en1

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