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IN SHORT

Parliament acts on land appropriation

PARLIAMENT approved an amendment to the Construction Act that will enable fast track expropriation of land for motorways and major investments. The move comes in the wake of President Ivan Gašparovič refusing to sign the law last week.

However, the deputies accepted the president's objection that expropriations initiated before July 1, 2005, rather than June 1, 2005, should also be completed in accordance with the amendment, the TASR news wire reported.

Through the amendment, expropriation powers will be transferred from municipal authorities to a state administrative body in order to increase the effectiveness of the system. Expropriations already initiated should be completed in accordance with the amendment.

Courts will be able to postpone the decision on expropriation if legal action is taken. They should make a judgement on such legal action without unnecessary delays, and within three months of its submission. Speeding up procedures in accordance with the Construction Act should lead to a better business environment, and construction projects will be able to begin soon after authorities have issued a permit.

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