P.M. BRIEFING : Hungary May Vote on Dam Project

<i> From Times wire services </i>

The government today bowed to grass-roots pressure and agreed to consider a national referendum on a hydroelectric dam scheme on the Danube.

The multibillion-dollar Nagymaros dam being built with Austrian financial backing and expertise has been strongly criticized in Hungary and abroad. Hungarian environmentalists have collected more than 130,000 signatures calling for a referendum.

Responding to a call from former Hungarian Academy of Sciences President Janos Szentagothai for debate on the project to be reopened, Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth said: “The government is ready to study the possibility of a referendum on the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros investment.”