The European Commission on Wednesday ordered the Hungarian government to recover HUF 30.3 billion (€112 million) in state aid to oil and gas company MOL.
The Commission found in an investigation that an agreement between MOL and the government in 2005 fixed mining royalties for most of the company's fields in Hungary until 2020. Although royalties were raised by an amendment to the Mining Act in early 2008, MOL continued to pay the same royalties agreed on earlier, the Commission.
“The investigation has proven that MOL benefited of a financial advantage by paying lower mining fees than its competitors. This type of clearly discriminatory aid is not allowed under EU rules,” said Commission Vice President and Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.
The HUF 30.3 billion is to be recovered from MOL with interest.
MOL's share price fell sharply around noon on Wednesday. The share traded at HUF 17,060, down 3.07%, at 1:14pm. (MTI-Econews)