Austria should exit Euratom Treaty: Green party

Thursday, November 6, 2008

(VIENNA) - The Austrian Green party called Tuesday for Austria to quit the European Atomic Energy Community (Euroatom or EAEC), saying public money paid to the body could be better used elsewhere.

Austria, which is constitutionally opposed to nuclear energy, "must exit the Euroatom Treaty," Green party spokeswoman Eva Glawischnig said.

"We call for the immediate cessation of payments to Euratom. Against the backdrop of exploding budgets, every cent is needed for economy-boosting measures and for fighting unemployment," Glawischnig told a news conference marking the 30th anniversary of a referendum against a nuclear power plant in Zwentendorf, 50 kilometres west of Vienna.

There was no sensible reason for Austria to remain a member of the EAEC, she continued. Austria was paying 40-50 million euros (51-64 million dollars) every year in subsidies to EU atomic programmes, from which the country did not benefit.

The Green party's anti-nuclear spokeswoman, Christiane Brunner, suggested using the money for renewable sources of energy and climate protection measures.

Austria, which wrote its opposition to nuclear energy into its constitution following a referendum, joined the European Union in 1995, automatically becoming a member of the EAEC.

The two far-right parties, the BZOe and the FPOe, are also in favour of quitting Euratom.

According to a poll carried out on behalf of the anti-nuclear movement, Atomstoppoberoesterreich, 78 percent of Austrians are in favour of such a move.

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