Hungary defends MOL protection law to EU

BUDAPEST, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Hungary has officially informed the European Commission that it believes its law protecting oil group MOL MOLB.BU from takeover does not breach the European Union's (EU) rules, Foreign Minister Kinga Goncz said on Monday.

The legislation, passed last summer after Austrian rival OMV OMVV.VI launched a takeover approach which MOL strongly opposes, does not limit the free movement of capital, Goncz was quoted by the national news agency MTI as saying.

The Hungarian government has informed the Commission about this view in a letter, she said.

But consultations with the EU about the legislation dubbed “Lex MOL” should continue as Hungary may change its view if the EU rejects concrete parts of the law, she said.

The European Commission has criticised certain points of the law but Goncz said she believed these remarks had not affected the merit of the legislation.

The Commission said last year that its complaints were the first step in a move that could lead to legal action against Budapest over the law protecting MOL.

Reporting by Sandor Peto, editing by Elizabeth Fullerton