Hungary Sees Danube Cleared By Summer At Earliest

Tuesday, March 28, 2000
The debris blocking the Danube shipping route in Yugoslavia could be cleared away by the summer, but more likely not until November, a senior Hungarian foreign ministry official said.

The Danube, one of the most heavily used waterways in Europe, has been blocked along a vital stretch in Serbia since NATO destroyed several bridges during its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia last year.

This has caused serious losses to the mostly central and eastern European countries using the river.

An obstacle hindering the process is that the cleanup of the debris involves the building of a bridge over the river. The U.S. supports the cleanup of the Danube but it does not want to see a bridge to be built in a Serbia ruled by President Slobodan Milosevic.

The issue will be discussed at a two-day meeting of international donor countries of the Balkans Stability Pact in Brussels, starting on Wednesday.

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