IN SHORT

Kronospan threatens to desert Slovakia

SLOVAKIA still cannot be sure of a Sk4 billion (€105.5 million) investment project from Cypriot wood-processing firm Kronospan Holding.

The company is threatening to scrap plans to build a new plant in Prešov and relocate all of its existing production facilities in Prešov and Zvolen to another country if it does not receive the state investment stimuli it wants, the Hospodárske noviny daily wrote.

Kronospan is demanding around Sk6.3 billion (€167,000) in the form of tax relief.

"We will not comment on the level of state support for Kronospan, or any other details. Such information is confidential, according to an agreement with the investor," said SARIO spokesman Michal Novota.

However, Economy Ministry spokesman Robert Beňo pointed out that, according to new investment stimuli regulations, the project could only receive state support worth 23.4 percent of the value of the investment.

The Economy Ministry says that it is taking Kronospan's threat to switch to a different country very seriously; especially as the construction work on the new plant has not yet begun.

Kronospan SK is currently the only manufacturer in Slovakia of materials for a special type of laminated floor. At the moment the planks it intended to produce in Prešov for these floors have to be imported from Germany and Poland.

Kronospan SK employs around 550 people. The new plant would create 200 jobs in Prešov, and lead to another 350 new jobs central Slovakia.

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