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Slovnaft fine confirmed

THE FINANCE Ministry has confirmed a fine of Sk1.3 billion (€33 million) levied against Slovak oil refinery Slovnaft for what is said were breaches of price discipline.

However, Slovnaft now plans to attack the verdict at the Supreme Court and Slovnaft's owner, the Hungarian MOL concern, has even said it will seek international arbitration on the issue, the daily Pravda reported.

Finance Ministry officials said they expected such a reaction.

"We are prepared for this. We acted in line with the law and our conclusions are backed up [with arguments]," the ministry's spokesman Peter Papanek said.

The Finance Ministry argues that Slovnaft made inordinately high profits in past years, which is the main reason for the enormous fine.

Slovnaft's director, Marian Jusko said that MOL is now "rather unsure about what profit is considered acceptable by the state".

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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