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Parliament requests carmaker contracts from cabinet

THE SLOVAK Parliament has requested that the cabinet submit all the contracts and appendices signed with investors Kia-Hyundai and PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Of 127 attending MPs, 87 voted in favour of the resolution proposed by the opposition party Smer, 31 abstained, and four did not vote.

Among the MPs who supported the resolution, 10 were from the co-ruling Christian Democratic Movement party and 16 from the co-ruling Hungarian Coalition Party.

The government has 10 days to submit the contracts with the two carmakers.

Moreover, MPs asked the cabinet to observe the law on free access to information when publishing the wording of documents submitted to it for discussion.

Under that law, the documents should be immediately made available to the public, say critics of Economy Minister Pavol Rusko's decision to keep the information private.

Smer MP Robert Madej initiated the proposal, saying that publishing restrictions cannot apply to information concerning public finance spending or state property.

"Investment incentives represent state aid and are provided from state funds," Madej pointed out.

Last week the cabinet received a legal analysis by the Justice Ministry that said that withholding any information from the documents discussed by the cabinet was against the law.

Nonetheless, the cabinet applied publication restrictions, chiefly to information on investment incentives, basing its decision on business confidentiality.

PSA Peugeot Citron is building a plant near Trnava, and Kia/Hyundai's plant will be located near Žilina. When signing the contract Kia representatives had no objections to the possible publication of the contracts.

According to contract excerpts leaked to the public some time ago, incentives provided to Kia are disadvantageous for the state, particularly with respect to how soft the guarantees of the scale of the investment are.

This is widely seen as the reason for the cabinet's unwillingness to reveal the contracts.

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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