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Finance Ministry blames Mečiar cabinets over ČSOB debt

FINANCE Minister Ivan Mikloš says that the administrations of former Prime Minister Vladimir Mečiar (1993 to 1998) are responsible for the Sk25 billion (€647 million) debt that an international tribunal has ordered Slovakia to pay to the Czech ČSOB bank.

The tribunal in Washington decided at the end of 2004 that Slovakia has to pay the money to ČSOB. The case goes back to the restructuring of the bank after Czechoslovakia split into two independent republics.

Sergej Kozlík, the previous Finance Minister, denied responsibility for the debt.

According to the SME daily, the Slovak cabinet has still to decide whether it will pay the whole debt or whether it will appeal against the verdict. The cabinet is due to make its decision by February 11.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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