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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish unionists protest outside EU court over disputed mine

22.10.2021 12:30
Poland’s Solidarity trade union on Friday staged a rally in front of the European Union's top court in Luxembourg in protest at the judges' rulings on a contentious Polish lignite mine. 
Polands Solidarity trade union on Friday held a rally in front of the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice (CJEU), in protest at the courts rulings with regard to the contentious Polish lignite mine, Turów.
Poland’s Solidarity trade union on Friday held a rally in front of the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice (CJEU), in protest at the court’s rulings with regard to the contentious Polish lignite mine, Turów. PAP/Mateusz Marek

The rally came after the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said last month that Poland must pay a EUR 500,000 daily fine to the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, for defying an order to halt operations at the Turów brown-coal mine near the Czech Republic.

The court had sided with Prague in ruling that the open-cast mine was damaging the environment on the Czech side of the frontier. 

After that September ruling, Solidarity vowed to stage a protest rally in front of the court in October, and on Friday the trade unionists duly arrived, clad in yellow vests emblazoned with the English-language slogan “Hands off Turów,” Poland's PAP agency reported.

Polish unionists protest outside the European Union’s Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Photo: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

They unfurled banners that said Brussels was stripping Poland of sovereignty, "just as Moscow had done in the past," and began distributing leaflets explaining the cause of the protest.

The leaflets argued that, thanks to an "absolutely callous decision by the CJEU to close down Turów, we are facing the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, with the whole region being paralysed, plunging us and our families into energy poverty,” the Polish state news agency reported.

“We are forced to stand up for our rights and jobs in every available way - this is why we are protesting today,” Solidarity said.

'This is not North Korea'

Wojciech Ilnicki, head of Solidarity at the Turów mine and one of the people behind the demonstration, told the PAP news agency that the unionists had "a very simple message to the CJEU: this is not North Korea.”

“We are saying this because the court is acting as if it was based in North Korea, condemning people to death through a decision taken by one person,” he elaborated.

Polish unionists protest outside the European Union’s Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Photo: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

The Luxembourg authorities have limited the rally to 2,000 participants, PAP reported.

(pm/gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info