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Red light ahead. Poland stops work on disputed motorway

brussels bureau

Red light ahead. Poland stops work on disputed motorway


Poland has bowed to EU pressure, and given up plans to build a motorway through an area of outstanding beauty, despite local support for the project. The EU took legal action against the Rospuda Valley scheme, and there were behind-the-scenes hints that some European funds could be withdrawn. The Polish government agreed to compromise, and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said the work would be stopped. The Rospuda Valley lies along the route of the so-called Via Baltica, a motorway to link Warsaw and Helsinki. Thousands of lorries pass through the area every day. Locals demonstrated their support for the road, saying it would ease the pressure on their towns. But, the valley is an area of special environmental interest, and has EU protected status. Greenpeace and other environmental groups have long campaigned against the project. Warsaw must now find a new route for this part of the motorway.

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