The European Commission on January 6 announced that it has concluded that the Slovak Government’s plan to provide regional investment aid in the form of tax relief worth €58 million to chemical company Duslo Šaľa is in line with European Union’s rules on state aid.
Duslo Šaľa is part of the Czech conglomerate Agrofert owned by Czech Finance Minister [of Slovak origin] Andrej Babiš. The company produces artificial fertilisers and other chemical products, including rubber substances.
The European Commission has concluded that the aid for Duslo will support the goals of regional development without infringing on economic competition in the common market. According to the EC, the area of Šaľa – lying in the southern Slovakia, in Nitra Region – has a high unemployment rate (around 10 percent) and lower living standards than the EU average, which entitles it to receive regional aid.
Duslo is set to invest around €310 million, with the project expected to preserve 1,800 jobs as well as hundreds of jobs among supply companies. The aid has been criticised by the Slovak opposition. Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MEP Richard Sulík stated, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that the most suspicious thing about the tax relief provided to Duslo Šaľa is selective treatment – more specifically, too much tax relief compared to other companies. If the company gets tax relief of €58 million while investing something more than €300 million, then any company investing €300,000 should get relief of €58,000, Sulík claims.
Last June, Slovakia announced that it would render tax relief to Duslo Šaľa for 10 years, the Sme daily wrote.
(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
7. Jan 2015 at 10:00