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IN SHORT

Cabinet will not challenge CO2 emissions

THE SLOVAK government has decided not to challenge a European Commission (EC) ruling that sets an annual ceiling of 30.5 million tonnes on carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions from Slovakia.

Several Slovak companies have argued that the level is too low and will reduce the competitiveness of their plants.

Slovakia's National Allocation Plan for 2005 to 2007 originally envisaged a quota of 35.5 million tonnes, reported the daily SME.

The EC originally proposed 26.1 million tonnes, said Environment Minister László Miklós, adding that the 30.5 million tonne figure was a compromise.

The Slovak companies that demanded a higher quota are unhappy with the compromise, saying the level will hurt the competitiveness of industry and thus reduce employment.

"We are very disappointed with the cabinet's decision not to defend Slovak industry," said Ján Bača, spokesman for US Steel Košice, which intends to fight for a higher quota.

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The incident, which claimed one fatality and at least 18 injuries, also created an emergency in a Slovak village close to the Austrian border.

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