PM says 'no' to shut-down of contested Turów mine

Mateusz Morawiecki called the CJEU's Monday decision to fine Poland EUR 500,000 for each day of the mine's further operation "radically aggressive and harmful." Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Poland will not shut down a disputed lignite mine as ordained by the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), as this would deprive millions of households of electricity, Poland's prime minister said on Tuesday.



Mateusz Morawiecki called the CJEU's Monday decision to fine Poland EUR 500,000 for each day of the mine's further operation "radically aggressive and harmful."

He added that Poland would undertake all available legal steps to show that the penalty was "disproportionate, arbitrary."

According to the prime minister, the Turów mine provides fuel for a nearby power plant which is responsible for 4 to 7 percent of Poland's energy production and supplies electricity to millions of households.

He said that the activity of Turów was important to the energy security of the country, and thus for the health and lives of Poles, and that it was also vital to the Polish economy, since it provided tens of thousands of jobs.

On Monday, the CJEU ordained Poland to a fine of EUR 500,000 per day for not following an earlier ruling to halt operations at Turów mine near the border to the Czech Republic. Complaints about the mine have come from the Czechs, who claim it has a negative impact on local groundwater.

The Turów mine, which lies on the border with Germany and the Czech Republic, has been the subject of a complaint to the EU by the Czech Republic, which claims that plans to extend it threaten the environment and, especially, ground water on the Czech side of the border.

On May 21, the CJEU demanded an immediate halt to mining at Turów under interim measures until a verdict is issued.