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Slovakia to Disclose Whirlpool Investment Information
May 4, 2005
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The Slovakia Economy Ministry announced that it will disclose information on its investment contract with appliance maker Whirlpool Slovakia.

The announcement comes after a civil association, Friend of the Earth-CEPA, filed a compliant with the country's Surpreme Court against the Ministry after it initially refused to release information.

The group would like to know on what basis the Slovak cabinet decided that the sale of private land was in the public interest when Whirlpool bought land in 2003.

The ministry argued that the disclosure could damage the investor's interests. The Supreme Court, however, found the complaint of the environmentalists justified and ordered the ministry to deal with the request.

The court also ruled that if the ministry decides to keep some parts of the contract confidential, it must justify the move.

"No one has said we have violated the law; it is necessary to rework this," ministerial spokesman Maro Havran told the SITA news agency. He added that the ministry has adopted a new philosophy concerning the disclosure of information on investment contracts. "When signing contracts in the public interest with foreign investors, we will not conceal using even a single crown from public finances," Mr. Havran said.

Whirlpool began its Slovak operations in 1992 and is said to be one of the most significant foreign investors in Slovakia. (Slovak Spectator)

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