LJUBLJANA, May 30 (Reuters) - Slovenia cancelled plans to build hydropower plants on the river Mura on Thursday after a long-fought environmental campaign by local residents and civil society groups.
“The preparation ... for hydropower plants is stopped due to environment protection.... We are fulfiling our obligation from the coalition agreement that there will be no hydropower plants on (the Slovenian part of) Mura,” Environment Minister Simon Zajc said after a regular government session.
Plans to build up to eight hydropower plants on Mura, in the east of the country, were put forward in 2005 but none have been built after protesters lobbied against them, saying they would destroy the local environment and its rich biodiversity.
The five parties of the centre-left government coalition signed an agreement in August, following a June general election, in which they said that they will protect Mura and build no hydropower plants there while more hydropower plants will be built on Slovenia’s largest river Sava. (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Alexander Smith)