Dead fish in the Oder: German-Polish mood at rock bottom
Photo: Marcin Bielecki / dpa
When it comes to the dead fish in the Oder, the relationship between German and Polish authorities is even more toxic than previously assumed.
After pointing blame and differences in dealing with one of the largest environmental disasters in East Germany, a joint report by Polish and German experts from state and federal authorities should have been published next Friday.
The goal: to clarify the reason for the mass deaths after almost two months.
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) had agreed on the report with her Polish counterpart Anna Moskwa from the national conservative Pis party.
»More unlikely than a flight to Mars«
Now it's clear: that won't work.
According to SPIEGEL information, all efforts to come up with a joint report and a joint conclusion after the disaster have failed.
There will be not one, but two reports - a Polish and a German one, each with its own view of things.
According to SPIEGEL information, there will not even be a common foreword.
The fact that there was a joint report in the last few meters was even described as "more unlikely than a flight to Mars".
According to the German side, they are not even aware of the exact content of the report by the Polish experts.
The mood, it is reported unanimously, is bad and has not been collegial for a long time.
As recently as August, Environment Minister Steffi Lemke emphasized “constructive cooperation”, and Anna Moskwa also said at the time that “the river and the environment are the things that should unite us and not separate us.
That was how we proceeded during the deliberations«.
This is off the table at the latest after the failed cooperation in the German-Polish Expert Council.
This is probably also due to the fact that there is disagreement not only in the search for causes.
There are also disputes over the further expansion of the Oder.
Steffi Lemke wants to stop the expansion, her Polish counterpart wants to continue building.
Poisoned and oversalted
On the German side, it is assumed that the alga »Prymnesium parvum«, which otherwise only thrives in salty brackish water, led to the death of the fish.
When this alga blooms, it produces a deadly poison for fish.
And for that to happen, salt is needed—in amounts that don't occur naturally in rivers.
This increased salt load, which can only be caused by industrial discharges, is still considered the probable cause of the disaster.
It is considered probable that these discharges led to the death of fish on the Polish side.
According to SPIEGEL information, however, the German experts have so far received neither a report nor specific data from their Polish colleagues, which makes the search for the cause even more difficult.