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Croatia economy minister blasts MOL on communications

Croatian Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak on Wednesday said Hungarian oil and gas company MOL's communications with the Croatian government on INA had gone beyond all boundaries of decency, commenting on statements in an interview with a MOL board member, Croatian news agency HINA reported.

“Once they specify their offer, they will probably notify us and we will then notify the Croatian public. Until then, I have no intention of commenting on this through the media,” HINA quoted Vrdoljak as saying.

MOL deputy chairman Sándor Csányi said in an interview in the month's issue of Forbes Hungary that if MOL saw no other option than to part with its stake in INA, it would offer the shares to the Croatian government; but if the government was not interested, it would offer to sell to a third party.

MOL holds just a fraction less than a controlling stake in INA, while the Croatian government owns almost 45%. The two shareholders have long been at odds over the way the company is managed, and tensions rose early in October, after Croatian police issued an arrest warrant for MOL chairman/CEO Zsolt Hernádi. He is suspected of having bribed former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader to give MOL management rights in INA.