THE ECONOMY Ministry announced on January 22 that it had agreed with Gaz de France and Ruhrgas, the minority shareholders of gas utility SPP, on the immediate termination of controversial contracts worth Sk1.2 billion (€29.2 million).
Gaz de France and Ruhrgas have a 49 percent stake in SPP and the state remains the firm's majority shareholder. The consultation contracts, according to which the minority shareholders' mother firms would provide expertise to SPP, were signed without the approval of SPP's supervisory board, where the state has a majority of votes.
So far, Sk280 million (€6.88 million) has been paid for the services. After talks with the shareholders, the Economy Ministry agreed that all further payments would be stopped, Economy Minister Pavol Rusko said.
The Slovak daily Pravda wrote on January 23 that new contracts would be drafted by February 10 and that the maximum payments through them would be "several hundred millions crowns lower", according to Rusko.
2. Feb 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports