Lithuanian transpmin to meet with Vestager over EU fine on railway co

Lithuanian Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis will meet with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels on Friday as the government plans to make a decision regarding a fine of almost 28 million euros imposed by the European Commission on Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) for breaching the bloc's anti-trust rules.

"Lietuvos Geležinkeliai, jointly with the Transport Ministry, will submit proposals to the government regarding the fine imposed by the Commission. Before making a final decision on our position, we want to consult with Commissioner Vestager," Masiulis told BNS in a comment.

Commenting on the possibility of appealing against the fine at an EU court, the minister said that a decision on this would be taken after his meeting with Vestager.

The European Commission fined Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai for hindering competition by removing a rail track from Mazeikiai, northern Lithuania, to Renge in Latvia in 2008.

The commissioner has said that unbundling the state railway company would be a way of bringing the infringement to an end. However, she noted during her visit to Vilnius in October that the country was not obliged to do so.

Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai has said that it plans to rebuild the dismantled track from the Mazeikiai crude refinery to Renge in order to redress the infringement.

Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai CEO Mantas Bartuska has said that the company will contest the fine in an effort to have the amount of the fine reduced and to defend the company's reputation.

The company was given there months until Jan. 7, 2017 to pay the fine or provide a bank guarantee. It has until Dec. 18 to file an appeal with a court.

Source: BNS
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