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President Schuster briefed on VSŽ by Július Rezeš Jr.

After a September 14 meeting with Július Rezeš, ex-president of steelmaker VSŽ, President Rudolf Schuster said he believed that the company could be saved by domestic sources alone. He said he had been told by Rezeš that VSŽ did not need a foreign capital entry, although new loans would be required.

Schuster said that he would submit these views to Privatization Minister Mária Machová, who is responsible for co-ordinating a decision on the future of the east Slovak steel giant.

A special meeting of VSŽ shareholders has been scheduled for September 22. The meeting will decide whether or not to recall current VSŽ President Gabriel Eichler, and will vote on the 'stabilisation agreement' that has been arranged between the creditors and shareholders of the troubled steelmaker.

Rezeš told Schuster he was interested in finding agreement with all shareholders, foreign as well as domestic, on the future of the firm.

The meeting between the two men had been requested by the former VSŽ president.

On September 16, Schuster met representatives of US Steel, which has a joint venture with VSŽ and which at one time was the hot favourite to make a strategic capital entry into the company.

In early September Schuster met with Jaroslav Gruber, boss of the Hutník company which owns a 10% stake in VSŽ. It was at Gruber's request that the September 22 shareholders meeting was called.

Schuster has also met Eichler, as well as members of the VSŽ board of directors who resigned from their posts in early August.

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