The Agriculture Ministry, led by Ľubomír Jahnátek, proposed this fee to be formally abolished for the MH Invest company that is assisting the British-Indian carmaker with bringing a new investment to Slovakia. In this case, the money waived could amount to €23 million.
However, this step still has to be approved by the government.
Once the plots involved are transferred to Jaguar Land Rover, potentially the fourth carmaker in the country, they could be perceived as state aid; which is legal, but it should then automatically reduce the subsidies or tax holidays offered by state, the Sme daily wrote in its October 19 issue. The amendment to this end should be passed in a fast-tracked proceeding. The ministry argues that if the fee is not slashed there is a risk that the interest of investors, especially foreign ones, would decrease, too.
In connection with the plots near Nitra, it will be necessary to expropriate them, the Pravda daily wrote on the same day. The Economy Ministry is currently preparing for this step which will then allow the carmaker to invest €1.5 million and create 4,000 new jobs with expected salaries amounting to about €1,000 a month.
The plot owners should not lose out to speculators who had been buying the land from them for €0.30 per square metre shortly before the investment was confirmed; and who are now offering it for €15 per square metre. The government, however, refuses to pay the difference. Instead, the cadastre office will return smaller plots to their original owners, but the courts will have to decide on the larger ones, according to Pravda. In order to speed up the process, the land in question will be expropriated by the new law.
19. Oct 2015 at 14:31 | Compiled by Spectator staff