Friday, May 14, 1999 Published at 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Austrian concern over Czech power plant
The Temelin nuclear plant should have been completed in 1987
Austria has sharply criticised the government of the neighbouring Czech Republic over its decision to complete the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant near their common border.
The Chancellor, Viktor Klima, warned that the decision would have a decisive influence on Czech hopes of joining the European Union.
Its combination of Soviet-era technology and American-designed safety mechanisms has also been criticised by environmental groups in the Czech republic.
Temelin is more than 10 years behind schedule, and substantially over budget.
The Czech Government debated the issue for five hours before reaching its decision in the early hours of Thursday.
Even then there was no consensus, with 11 ministers supporting Temelin and eight either against or abstaining.
The government insisted that Temelin should not go over budget again, and that it should be ready by September next year.
But it is not clear what will happen if the completion is again delayed or the final cost rises further.
The Czech Environment Minister, Milos Kuzvart, who has led a strong campaign against Temelin, said he agreed with President Havel that the CEZ company's assurances on price and completion date could not be trusted.