Ostrava - Representatives of the Moravian-Silesian Region openly attacked local environmentalists because of problems Hyundai motor works are having with building their factory in Nošovice.
The regional authorities have accused the Beskydčan civic association of allegedly blocking the railway road that should lead to the Hyundai´s site.
Before the end of this year, Hyundai will have started a mass production of cars in Nošovice.
In 2006, environmental NGOs put pressure on the company which eventually agreed it would use the train transport as much as possible.
"It was only our goodwill. But if we could not use a railway, we would use roads," Hyundai Motor Company spokesman Petr Vaněk said.
Pavel Drobil, Deputy Commissioner of the Moravian-Silesian Region from the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), called the activities of Beskydčan "utterly unbelievable".
"On the one hand, they claim they prefer clean and environmentally friendly railway transport, on the other hand they block it."
Beskydčan filed an appeal protesting against a building permit that was issued for the Nošovice industrial zone to connect to the railway.
However, the Transport Ministry rejected this appeal as ungrounded. Beskydčan reacted by filing a charge, asking for suspension of all current works before the court rules.
The regional authorities are convinced that Beskydčan is able to effectively hamper the railway project.
Leo Košťál from Beskydčan calls this absurd. "We are a civic association, we have no power. Before the court decides, the train connection will have been completed," Košťál said.
Read more: South Korean Hyundai faces fine for breaching law
Beskydčan claims that the impact of the rail connection on the local environment was not taken in account. The regional authorities, however, say that the environmental impact on the Nošovice region is included in the general environmental evaluation of the factory.
Drobil sees the whole rail connection issue a rather marginal. He points out Beskydčan happened to be among those organizations that signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai in 2006.
"It is pure blackmailing. Beskydčan is simply against anything that has to do with Hyundai," says Drobil.
"They refuse the road bypass in Frýdek-Místek and what more, are against the train transport, which they first pushed for themselves," adds Drobil.
Vaněk is also critical: "They [Beskydčan] are blocking everything. We respect their motivation to protect the environment, but this it is just beyond our understanding."
Beskydčan argues that the modernization of the monorail Hyundai plans to use concerns them a lot. "Many people are asking us for help. They cannot imagine that their peaceful life would be disrupted by noisy cargo traffic," Košťál of Beskydčan explains.