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Sat, Aug 25, 2001 - Page 4 News List

Ecologists say meeting a step backward

By Chiu Yu-tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Environmentalists demonstrated outside the meeting of the Economic Development Advisory Conference yesterday to protest what they say is collusion between politicians and big business.

The protesters said the conference lacked "proper scrutiny" and they also complained about the lack of social activism in Taiwan.

In addition, the demonstrators said they doubted that anything constructive would result from the meeting.

Waving banners, activists performed a skit to convey the message that the public would end up paying for the conference's collaboration between political figures and prominent businessmen.

They said that "catastrophe" would result from agreements between "politicians and businessmen who have never taken environmental concerns into account."

Environmentalists expressed worries that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) would go too far in order to please prominent businessmen.

"The environment is actually the basis of economic development rather than a stumbling block to it," said Pan Han-chiang (潘翰疆), vice secretary-general of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union.

Pan said that environmentalists had been disappointed by some of the proposals put forth by industrialists at the conference's preparatory meetings.

"For example, we are very upset with their idea to loosen regulations governing the use of mountainous land," Pan said.

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