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Slovakia to take EC to court

The Slovak Republic plans to file a suit against the European Commission, which wants to fine Slovakia for an excesive stockpile of tinned food and rice when the country joined the European Union.

The EC ruled that Slovakia must pay more than €3.6 million, Slovak Justice Ministry spokesman Michal Jurči said.

"The Slovak Republic filed a lawsuit on July 11 to the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, aimed at annulling the decision of the EC from May 4 concerning the excessive stockpile of agricultural products with financial impact," Jurči said. "The commodities concerned were tinned tangerines, tinned mushrooms and rice."

Slovakia thinks the EC did not have the power to adopt such a decision, and if it had the power, it should have done so within three years of the EU enlargement. Moreover, the EC cannot prove there was any cost or financial damage to the European Community following from Slovakia’s excessive stockpile, Jurči said.

The EU did now warn Slovakia about the stockpiles in due time before the accession, and the problem was caused by imported commodities, and not by domestic production, the Slovak government argues.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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