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EC refers Croatia to EU Court over INA law

The European Commission said Thursday it has referred Croatia to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to amend a law that grants the government special powers in oil and gas company INA, in which Hungarian peer MOL exercises management rights, to bring it into line with EU rules, state news wire MTI reported.

"The fact that the Croatian State can refuse to approve important decisions that would be in the companyʼs interest may negatively impact company shares and reduce INAʼs attractiveness to investors," the EC said.

The EC launched an infringement procedure against Croatia over the law in November 2014, after it failed to act on commitments it made to align it with EU rules before the countryʼs accession. It stepped up the infringement procedure a little more than a year later.

The state of Croatia and MOL each hold a little less than half of INAʼs shares, but MOL has management rights in the company.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said late last year that the state would buy back MOLʼs stake in INA. The announcement followed an international arbitration courtʼs decision dismissing the Croatian governmentʼs claims against MOL relating to bribery, corporate governance and alleged breaches of a shareholdersʼ agreement.