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Fico: the government does not fear legal actions over Gabčíkovo

THE SLOVAK Government is not afraid of possible court proceedings or arbitration for the termination of the contract with electricity utility Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) on operating the Gabčíkovo hydroelectric power plant (VEG), Prime Minister Robert Fico stated on public service RTVS talk show, on December 13.

THE SLOVAK Government is not afraid of possible court proceedings or arbitration for the termination of the contract with electricity utility Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) on operating the Gabčíkovo hydroelectric power plant (VEG), Prime Minister Robert Fico stated on public service RTVS talk show, on December 13.

Fico stated at a press conference on December 4 that Slovakia has terminated the contract on the rental of the VEG to the SE, accusing SE of violating of the contract.

“After eight years of operating the Gabčíkovo hydropower plant by the Italian company Enel [which has 66-percent state at SE], we have decided, based on flagrant violations of the contract on operation of the Gabčíkovo hydropower plant, to terminate the contract as of today,” Fico told the press. “SE… refuses to provide us elementary data and information that would allow us to determine to what extent the distribution of profits from the hydropower plant is just or unjust for the state.”

Earlier in this week, SE announced that it will ask the state for compensation over the termination of the contract, according to the TASR newswire.

During the talk show, Fico reiterated his view that Gabčíkovo was virtually “donated” by former two-times prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda’s government to Enel under disadvantageous conditions for the state and at odds with international law.

“The Gabčíkovo hydroelectric plant should have never been rented out to the Italian company Enel,” said Fico, a quoted by TASR.

On private broadcaster TA3’s discussion programme on December 14 Fico further stated that Slovakia cannot lose anything on terminating the contract. Considering the 35-percent share of yields from Gabčíkovo going to SE and Enel as the majority shareholder, SE has received €340 million for running the hydroelectric power plant over the past eight years. At the same time, the contract was signed for the period of 30 years, noted Fico.

“It’s a win-win situation for us,” said Fico, as quoted by TASR. “We can’t lose anything, we can only gain.”

Source: RTVS, TA3, TASR

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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