Investor warns against Slovakia

A GERMAN investor, Alexander Reichhardt, is warning German firms not to invest their money in Slovakia, the daily SME wrote.

In 1997, the owner of the Slovak-German firm Lux Invest from Banská Bystrica decided to import about 1.25 million litres of Romanian wine to Slovakia in response to the preferential import duty of 25 percent, which is approximately 60 percent lower than the regular duty.

However, the Slovak customs bodies imposed an import duty of 87 percent on the businessman, despite his firm's meeting of all the criteria of the preferential duty.

He was forced to pay Sk7.2 million (€176,000) more than he had anticipated.

He has been trying to persuade Slovak customs bodies that they made the wrong decision for three years.

Disappointment drove the businessman to criticize the country and warn potential German investors against coming to Slovakia. He even wrote his close friend, EU commissioner Günter Verheugen, over the issue.

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