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PMÚ advises against memorandum with Swedish firm

THE SLOVAK Antitrust Office (PMÚ) advised the government not to approve a memorandum between a Swedish company Swedwood and the Slovak Republic.

The memorandum was supposed to guarantee annual supplies of 150,000 cubic metres of spruce for ten years from state forestry company Lesy SR, the SITA news wire reported.

"The Antitrust Office agrees with the Agriculture Ministry, according to which this kind of process could deform competition, and it would be non-standard," said Finance Minister, Ivan Mikloš.

He added that the material was withdrawn from the meeting of ministers with economic portfolios at the request of Economy Minister Pavol Rusko.

Rusko wants to hold discussions with representatives of the Antitrust Office and the Agriculture Ministry.

The Antitrust Office analyzed the memorandum on the basis of a decision from a meeting of ministers with economic portfolios in May, when the Agriculture Ministry expressed its reservations towards the concept of the memorandum.

According to PMÚ, this kind of a long-term guarantee of spruce supplies to Swedwood could restrict other wood processing companies' access to the wood supply and that could cause their elimination from the market.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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