SLOVAK Economy Minister Pavol Rusko will submit three alternatives for settling the dispute around the Hyundai/Kia investment to the cabinet on August 18.
"The first is to wait until September 15 for a new territorial decision [to reclassify the plots from arable land to building lots], the second is to start expropriating land, and the third is to initiate negotiations with the investor on a new location for the investment," Rusko told the news wire SITA.
The most probable alternative is to expropriate the land, he added, which would take two to nine months and could endanger the entire investment.
However, businessman Marián Kočner, a former adversary of Rusko, said that expropriation of the Žilina land for Kia is impossible.
Kočner bought lots on an area of 0.7 hectares (less than 1 percent of the planned area) from landowners where the new plant should be built.
"Four basic conditions should be met for expropriation. These are the existence of a bill regulating, above all, the purpose and procedure of expropriation, the existence of public interest, expropriation only to a necessary extent, and appropriate compensation," said Kočner at a press conference.
He doubts that the second and third conditions have been met.
He said that the existence of public interest is questionable as the expropriation would primarily be in the interest of a private company receiving massive state assistance. The only public interest that should be taken into consideration, according to Kočner, is increased employment.
However, he doubts that the contract that the state signed with Kia would secure that condition.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
17. Aug 2004 at 10:04