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The BBC's Geneva correspondent Claire Doole
"The WWF fears the entire food chain could be contaminated"
 real 28k

BBC Science's Ania Lichtarowicz
"It will take a long time for the rivers to recover"
 real 28k

Monday, 21 February, 2000, 00:47 GMT
Bulgaria considers cyanide lawsuit

Belgrade boatman displays poisoned fish in Danube Marine life has been killed in rivers across four countries


Bulgaria is considering whether to seek compensation from Romania for the cyanide spill contaminating the river Danube.

It said Romanian officials had failed to provide adequate information about the extent of the spill when it occurred at a gold mine in Romania last month.

The Bulgarian authorities have banned fishing on the Danube and using river water for irrigation or household needs.

Hungarian Greens mark the disaster with candles Hungarian Greens mark the disaster with candles
According to the country's Environment Minister, Evdokia Maneva, cyanide levels in Bulgaria's stretch of the Danube were 40% above internationally-accepted levels.

She said Bulgaria would raise the issue with an international commission of Danube countries and with the European Union.

Lawsuits

In Hungary, green groups held a candle-lit procession to the parliament building on Sunday, with some 500 demonstrators calling for Europe-wide co-operation on environmental disasters.

So far, river systems across four countries have been poisoned by the spill.

Hungary has been worst affected, with all marine life feared dead in two of its river systems.

The government says it is considering a series of lawsuits against the Romanian- and Australian-owned mine, as well as the Australian parent company and possibly the Romanian government.

The first lawsuits could be filed this week.

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See also:
18 Feb 00 |  Europe
Serbia says Danube safe
14 Feb 00 |  Europe
Death of a river
14 Feb 00 |  Europe
Romania cautious on cyanide risk
13 Feb 00 |  Europe
Cyanide spill reaches Danube
11 Feb 00 |  Media reports
Hungary's shock at cyanide disaster
10 Feb 00 |  Europe
Cyanide spill wreaks havoc

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