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Parliament clears screening obstacle for arms companies

SLOVAK MPs amended on May 27 a recently approved law that was paralysing the domestic defence industry, the news wire TASR wrote.

The law on the protection of classified information required arms producers to undergo security screening by the National Security Office (NBÚ) before they could trade their products.

As completing NBÚ screening takes several months, trading by these companies had been virtually halted.

Smer opposition party leader Robert Fico proposed that the respective provision be stricken from the law through an amendment to the Small Trades Act. MPs approved the step.

NBÚ screening will now be compulsory only for companies that supply Slovak security forces.

Vojtech Lampert, president of Slovakia's Defence Industry Association, said the previous legislation limited the whole production of some companies, for example WayIndustrie in the town of Krupina, producer of the popular mine-clearing vehicle Božena.

Prior to the amendment, Economy minister Pavol Rusko had prepared a plan to give all arms producers a one-year transition period to pass screening.

Kerametal chief executive Igor Junas told TASR that his firm was still waiting to be screened more than one year after submitting a request.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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