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New Slovak Environment Minister Turský publishes emission quotas contract, minus the details

An MPs’ inquiry into the sale of carbon-dioxide emissions quotas at the Environment Ministry, which was initiated but then cut short by the opposition earlier this month, will be resumed, new Environment Minister Viliam Turský (a nominee of the Slovak National Party (SNS)) said on Wednesday, May 20.

An MPs’ inquiry into the sale of carbon-dioxide emissions quotas at the Environment Ministry, which was initiated but then cut short by the opposition earlier this month, will be resumed, new Environment Minister Viliam Turský (a nominee of the Slovak National Party (SNS)) said on Wednesday, May 20.

The first attempt at an inquiry at the ministry took place on May 7. Opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP Pavol Frešo, who was one of the leading figures in the probe, said that it was thwarted because interim environment minister Ján Mikolaj (SNS) and the ministry's two state secretaries weren’t present at the office as requested. Turský was appointed minister on Wednesday, replacing Ján Chrbet, who was dismissed at the beginning of May over the scandal, which is related to the sale of the aforementioned quotas.

The SDKÚ has criticised the sale of the quotas to a little-known company called Interblue Group, which was set up only shortly before the sale took place and whose headquarters turned are located in a lock-up garage. According to SDKÚ vice chairman Ivan Mikloš, the gap between prices charged by Ukraine and Slovakia for the same number of quotas amounted to €66.4 million.

On May 21, Turský published the controversial contract between the ministry and the company Interblue Group on the sale of unused CO2 emissions quotas. However, the published version features no details of the price or volumes of the quotas in question, the SITA newswire wrote.

The option is valid until December 31, 2012. Both sides to the contract agreed that units listed in the Transfer Schedule that were not transferred in individual years may be transferred to the following year during the validity of the contract. Parties to the contract obliged themselves not to provide access to a third party to any data or information that they gained from the second party to the contract for purposes other than fulfilment of the contract. The obligation to keep the details secret remains valid for a further five years after the termination of the contract. The new minister said he would make public all aspects of the contract which are not subject to the secrecy clause. SITA, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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