THE EUROPEAN Commission may sue Slovakia for competition over the modernisation of the railway between Zlatovce and Trenčianska Teplá, near Trenčín, based on the complaint of one of the bidders: construction company Skanska, the Hospodárske Noviny daily reported in its October 29 issue.
The European Commission has already launched proceedings in the matter of violating legal regulations, Ingrid Ludviková from the Representation of the EC in Slovakia confirmed to the daily. If Slovakia fails to defend itself it will not only face a fine of at least €896,000, but also will lose EU funds to the tune of €200 million.
“We hope that Slovakia will persuade the EC with its arguments, and that it [the EC] will repay for the track,” Transport Ministry spokesperson Martin Kóňa told Hospodárske Noviny.
Despite the lowest bid at over €200 million submitted for the tender, the state excluded Skanska several times from the competition. Therefore it filed a motion with the EC. The company has not received the official statement from the EC yet.
Head of Skanska Magdaléna Dobišová hopes the EC will confirm that the whole process was at odds with the public procurement rules set by Slovakia as well as the whole European Union, and “discriminatory toward our company”, as reported by Hospodárske Noviny.
Not only has the EC cast doubt over the competition for modernising the railway. The Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) decided last year that the competition was discriminatory. According to its verdict, the state-run Železnice SR company rebuked only Skanska for mistakes, but not other bidders. These however also made errors, ÚVO said at the time, as reported by Hospodárske Noviny.
Source: Hospodárske Noviny
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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29. Oct 2014 at 14:00