Opposition leader slams government over River Odra contamination
Donald Tusk, the leader of Poland's main opposition party Civic Platform, has criticised the government for what he regards as its belated reaction to a pollution spill in the River Odra that has killed tonnes of fish.
"This is one of the biggest ecological scandals in recent years, not only in Poland," he said on Thursday.
Large numbers of dead fish were spotted in the country’s second longest river in late July.
Since then around 10 tonnes of dead fish have been hauled out of the Odra.
Preliminary tests have shown that the rivers might have been contaminated by a chemical substance, toxic to aquatic organisms.
Tusk said that "the authorities reacted to the reports of the river contamination too late."
"Today we are not be able to determine who poisoned the River Odra, something that the appropriate institutions should have found out a long time ago, to prevent this catastrophe, which is now heading towards Szczecin (in north-western Poland - PAP)," he said.
"It was known as early as July 26 that the Odra was threatened with an ecological disaster because hundreds of kilograms of dead fish were already floating in the river," Tusk added.
He said that as early as August 3, one of the leaders of the Green Party had submitted a parliamentary interpellation on the matter but "now we learn that Mr (Mariusz - PAP) Błaszczak (defence minister - PAP) is sending troops there when practically the whole course of the River Odra has been poisoned."