July 19, 2018 / 10:32 AM / a month ago

EU Commission steps up legal battle against Slovenia over ECB data incident

BRUSSELS, July 19 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it had sent a new request to Slovenia to clarify its seizure of European Central Bank data in 2016 after Slovenian authorities failed to provide a satisfactory response to EU queries about the incident.

Slovenian authorities seized both ECB documents and computer hardware in July 2016 as part of a national investigation against central bank officials. The ECB had not given prior authorisation for the Slovenian action. The Commission opened last May an infringement procedure against Slovenia for failing to clarify the incident.

Since Slovenia has not provided sufficient justifications for this incident, the Commission decided on Thursday to move to the second step of the procedure which could lead to a referral to the EU Court of Justice and the possible imposition of financial sanctions on Slovenia.

The EU executive gave Slovenia two months to reply to its letter. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio)

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