BRATISLAVA Nov 29 Czech energy group EPH, a
major player in Slovakia's energy sector, said it may challenge
Slovakia's plans to double a special tax on profits in
state-regulated industries and to keep the levy in place for
The Slovak parliament last week approved plans to increase
the special tax on profits in industries such as energy and
telecommunications, to 8.7 percent from January, to help the
government cut its budget deficit.
"If the law enters into force in January we will consider
challenging it in court," EPH spokesman Daniel Castvaj said.
EPH, a private company, owns Slovak gas pipeline operator
Eustream and is a key stakeholder in Slovakia's biggest electric
utility Slovenske Elektrarne, in which it will take majority
control in the coming years as part of a deal with Italy's Enel
It also controls gas distributor SPP-Distribucia and
electricity distributor Stredoslovenska energetika.
The tax was introduced in 2012 to raise state revenue amid a
global downturn and was supposed to end this year but parliament
has backed government plans to keep it in place indefinitely.
The tax rate should gradually decline from 2019 onwards.
Slovakia's finance ministry has said the tax will raise 167
million euros ($177 million) next year.
It is part of government plans to cut the deficit to achieve
a balanced budget in 2019.
($1 = 0.9440 euros)
(Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova; Editing by Susan Fenton)