NEWS BRIEFS

Slovakia must liquidate sugar

SLOVAKIA and four other EU member states must liquidate excessive sugar reserves by the end of November this year, the Hospodárske noviny business daily wrote.

The European Commission (EC) sent letters to Slovakia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, and Latvia, informing them of the extended deadline for eliminating the extra sugar. By the end of March 2006 the states will have to prove that they have liquidated the sugar reserves.

Any outstanding excessive sugar reserves after November 2005 will be subject to a fine.

Slovakia has 11,003 tonnes of excessive sugar reserves, according to EC sources. If it fails to liquidate them, the fine would be €5.5 million (Sk218.7 million). Estonia has the highest excessive sugar reserves of the given states - 91,000 tonnes.

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