Greenpeace protests against Erste Bank's financing of Slovakian nuclear plant

Thursday, March 6, 2008

VIENNA Thomson Financial - Greenpeace activists 'walled in' a branch of one of Austria's largest banks, Erste Bank AG, in the centre of Vienna on this morning in protest against its financing of the Mochovce nuclear plant in Slovakia.

A group of around thirty activists erected a brickwall in front of the bank's main entrance on one of the capital's busy pedestrian zones and called for Erste Bank to cancel its loan to the Slovak utility Slovenske Elektrarne.

Erste Bank's Slovak unit, Slovenska Sporitelna, is one of consortium of several banks making up an 800 mln eur loan to be used to expand the plant by adding two new reactors.

Erste Bank spokesman, Michael Mauritz, said pulling out of the contract with Slovenske Elektrarne was out of the question.

Austria has had a strict anti-nuclear policy since passing a law in 1978, which prohibits nuclear power plants in the Alpine republic.

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