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Division of Slovnaft could lead to lower prices

MINISTER of Labour, Social Affairs and Family Ľudovít Kaník is considering submitting a legal proposal to divide the Slovak refinery Slovnaft into different companies. These would take separate responsibility for production and the sale of fuels on the retail market, the daily Hospodárske noviny reported.

This could lead the way for the Slovak Antitrust Office (PMÚ) to decide on the sale of part of Slovnaft, if the company was judged to have an unfair dominant market position and be misusing its position on the market.

Minister Kaník wants to lower the prices of fuel. It is a part of his initiative to ease the negative impact of higher energy prices on some sections of the public.

The Antitrust body will prepare the legislation needed for the change. Spokesman for the PMÚ, Miroslav Jurkovič, said he did not want to be specific about the proposal. "The proposal has not been approved yet and the talks about its final form are still ongoing," Jurkovič told the Hospodárske noviny daily.

The ministry's spokesman did not want to specify the proposal either. He only said that the government has interrupted the talks about measures concerning fuels and Slovnaft because it needs to be investigated more thoroughly.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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