The chemical company Duslo Šaľa from the portfolio of the tycoon and Czech Finance Minister (of Slovak origin) Andrej Babiš is seeking Slovakia’s biggest tax relief package in more than a decade, but Viliam Novotný (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) has asked Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis in a letter to explain the aid.

Duslo Šaľa demands a 10-year tax holiday worth almost €60 million in exchange for investing €300 million in the region, the Sme daily wrote. The company, a division of Agrofert, indicated it was considering leaving Slovakia already a few months ago, complaining mostly about high energy prices. About 800 jobs in Duslo Šaľa were at stake. It planned to move the production to the Czech Republic or Germany, the TASR newswire wrote. The state said that nothing has been decided yet. The European Commission will have the last say in the tax holiday that would concern the production of ammonia.

In his letter, Novotný opined that if the tax relief is approved, a suspicion of violation of the constitutional law on protection of public interest might occur.

“A public official must not use his position to gain advantages to his benefit, or to the benefit of people and companies close to him,” Novotný warned on July 17, as quoted by SITA newswire.

“The Port Service Bratislava, LtD. company, in which Pavlis worked, traded also with Agrofert and with Duslo Šaľa," said Novotný.

Novotný asked Pavlis to explain his relationship with Babiš and the companies of the Agrofert group, to rule out potential conflict of interests.

“I have never made it a secret that I know Mr. Babiš, Pavlis said, as quoted by SITA. “We have certain activities, but Mr. Babiš is a minority partner or shareholder in several companies. As well as in the Port Service company. I absolutely make no secret of this.”

(Source: SITA, RTVS)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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