BUSINESS SHORTS

Seven companies ask state for compensation

SEVEN companies are asking for around Sk1 billion (€29 million) from the state in compensation for an illegal increase in energy prices in 2003, the Pravda daily reported on December 29.

The companies base their claim on two verdicts issued by Slovakia's Constitutional Court in July and November 2006, which stated that the Bureau for the Regulation of Network Industries (ÚRSO), the state energy market regulator, broke the law when setting energy prices.

According to the Constitutional Court, the ÚRSO should have announced what it was planning to do before making any changes to energy prices.

The head of the ÚRSO's legal department, Frederika Imrichová, said that the bureau had made its intentions known - at the same time as it changed the energy prices.

Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek declined to say whether the state would be willing to settle out-of-court.

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