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Business, not political, considerations should guide MOL, deputy-PM tells Croatian TV

Business points of view, not political ones, should be the determining factors in the operation of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, Deputy-Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics told Croatian public television late on Friday. "MOL and all of its partners have elevated strategic significance in all of their respective national economies, but "it is of key importance that business points of view, rather than political ones, be the deciding factors" in the company's operation, Navracsics said. MOL holds a stake just short of a majority in Croatian peer INA. The other big shareholder in the company is the Croatian state. There have been tensions in the past between the two shareholders over the way the company is managed. The issue is made, perhaps, more delicate by the Hungarian state's more than 24 percent stake in MOL. Navracsics said the state's 24% stake in MOL allows it a voice in questions of strategy, but he added that MOL should continue to define the character of the business. He said a Croatian court decision against former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader "cannot be an onerous factor" for the political ties between Hungary and Croatia. In November, a Croatian court sentenced Sanader on corruption charges involving the alleged payment of a bribe of millions of euros to give MOL management rights in INA.