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Prosecutors will check exchange rate loss from emissions sale

THE OFFICE of General Prosecutor will check whether the Environmental Fund violated the law in 2009 when it changed more than 2 million Slovak crowns it received through sale of carbon-dioxide emissions quotas to Interblue Group to euros. The state lost €800,000 through the exchange, which then short-changed the programme for thermal isolation of buildings, the Pravda daily reported on October 11.

THE OFFICE of General Prosecutor will check whether the Environmental Fund violated the law in 2009 when it changed more than 2 million Slovak crowns it received through sale of carbon-dioxide emissions quotas to Interblue Group to euros. The state lost €800,000 through the exchange, which then short-changed the programme for thermal isolation of buildings, the Pravda daily reported on October 11.

Office of General Prosecutor spokeswoman Jana Tökölyová confirmed that Deputy General Prosecutor for the Criminal Section Peter Šufliarsky assigned the prosecutors with investigating the case.

The Environmental Fund received money in three instalments in mid-December 2008. The fund set the exchange rate at 29.809 for euro, but according to the official data from the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), country’s central bank, the exchange rate was 30.186 crowns to the euro. The analysts at the time criticised the company for exchanging the money only few days before January 1, 2009 when the country started to use the conversion rate of €30.126. Moreover, they said that if the transaction took place in NBS, the fund would not lose any money. Since it made it in commercial bank, it benefited from the exchange, according to Pravda.

The sale of emissions quotas to Interblue Group belongs to the biggest scandals of Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government. It resulted in replacing two environment ministers nominated by SNS, then in coalition with Fico’s Smer party. The state allegedly lost €66 million through the sale of emissions.

The police have recently stopped the investigation with the conclusion that the deed is not considered a crime, private broadcaster TV Markíza reported October 6.

Source: Pravda

For more information about this story please see: Emissions quotas sale prosecution stopped

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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