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Electronic road-toll collection set to be launched January 1, 2010

SkyToll, a company set up by members of Ibertax-SanToll, the winning consortium in the tender for an electronic road-toll collection system in Slovakia, must launch the system by January 1, 2010, or face fines or even non-payment.

SkyToll, a company set up by members of Ibertax-SanToll, the winning consortium in the tender for an electronic road-toll collection system in Slovakia, must launch the system by January 1, 2010, or face fines or even non-payment.

The terms were revealed in comments by Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny about the controversial and much-delayed tender following a government session on Wednesday in Bratislava. According to the minister, with the company investing Sk5-6 billion (€166-200 million), the penalties could lead to the company's bankruptcy. Prior to the launch, Vážny suggested trials of the road-toll system could take place in December, 2009.

The National Highway Company (NDS) signed the contract with SkyToll on January 13. The opposition criticised the tender over doubts about its transparency, pointing mainly to the high price tendered (Ibertax-SanToll’s tender was reported to have been the highest of the four bids received).

Vážny stated that the winner of the tender wasn't chosen because it offered the highest bid, but because it was the only bidder to meet all the conditions. "The three remaining companies weren't excluded because of some trivialities, but because they weren't able to fulfil our requirements," Vážny said. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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