Slovakia buys more time to explain e-toll contract

Slovakia is still under scrutiny over its selection of the supplier of the motorway toll system, but it has managed to negotiate some breathing time from the European Commission until the beginning of 2011 before it has to deliver its explanation.

Slovakia was supposed to present its arguments to the Commission by the end of November but it requested an extension, which the EU agreed to, setting 1 January as the final deadline. Now the Ministry of Transport and the National Motorway Company (NDS) is thrashing it out with EC representatives.

The European Commission is not happy about how the tender for the selection of the contractor transpired, with Commissioner Michel Barnier saying that the Commission sees certain violations of rules in the awarding of the contract.

Back in September after a meeting with Barnier, transport minister Jan Figel said he would defend the interests of Slovakia and was ready for open dialogue on the issue.

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