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Miklóš says Slovnaft still abusing monopoly position

SLOVAK refinery Slovnaft continues to abuse its dominant position on the market, according to Minister of Finance Ivan Miklóš, reports the TASR news agency.

"The ministry will use all legal measures to prevent the company from doing so. Slovnaft's behaviour is a clear abuse of their position at the expense of Slovak citizens," Miklóš said during question time in Parliament January 20.

The Finance Ministry on January 14 demanded the refiner pay Sk1.3 billion (€30 million) in penalties for accounting irregularities. Slovnaft may appeal the decision within 15 days, and it is likely that the company will do so.

If so, in the next stage, the Finance Minister himself will decide on the issue. If he confirms the sanction, Slovnaft may appeal the decision in court.

Finance ministry officials favour seeing the case solved peaceably. However, Miklóš is not convinced that the refinery is willing to change its behaviour - even after having met Zsolt Hernádi, President of MOL, the Hungarian firm that is the major shareholder in Slovnaft, TASR reports.

Compiled by Magdalena MacLeod from press reports
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