US STEEL Košice (USSK) has denied statements made by Slovakia's Deputy PM Pál Csáky that its mother company had already accepted the basic conditions for settling the problem of USSK's steel overproduction, the TASR news wire wrote.
However, Csáky insists on his statement that the Pittsburgh-based US Steel has preliminarily accepted the basic conditions.
The company also criticised Csáky for communicating with the media despite a pledge to wait until the end of talks to make any such statements, USSK spokesman Ján Bača said.
"Though the discussion was productive, this affair so critical to the interests of both Slovakia and USSK must still be considered unresolved," says a USSK statement regarding last week's talks between its representatives and the European Commission (EC) in Brussels.
Under the agreement, the EC would allow the excess steel production, while USSK would pay compensation to the state budget and relinquish part of its $500 million (€400.2 million) tax relief.
"Now, only technicalities are being negotiated. My mission here is coming to an end," Csáky said.
The problem of overproduction is rooted in differing interpretations of Slovakia's Accession Treaty with the EU. While the company thought the production limits would apply from the day of Slovakia's entry into the union, the EC has insisted that the starting date was the day that the Accession Treaty was signed in late 2002.
1. Mar 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports