09 December 2008
The government is scheming with the country’s only oil refinery to generate extra profits by keeping fuel supplies deliberately low on the market, FYROM’s main opposition party alleges.
These accusations from the Social Democrats came after Finance Minister Trajko Slavevski announced that the state will lend diesel fuel to OKTA refinery from its reserves in order to end the shortages on the market over the last four days.
Previously OKTA, which is the country’s main supplier of fuel, said it stopped the production of diesel due to technical failures.
“OKTA got a fuel present from the government which it is bound to return in January when the fuel prices will be much lower than present,” the Social Democrats said in a press release claiming that in this way the refinery will make extra profits.
They accused OKTA and the government of scheming and manipulating the public and said that the alleged technical failure was just an excuse for hiding the true intent of making extra profits.
“There were no technical failures when the fuel prices reached over €100 and when both OKTA and the government profited from that. The alleged failure happens now when the prices are considerably lower,” the Social Democrats said.
The government was quick to denounce the opposition’s allegations by calling them “the most arrogant lies.”
The Finance Ministry explains in its press statement that the borrowed fuel will be fully supplemented with even more quality derivate by OKTA in January. This way, the state interests are fully protected, the statement read.
OKTA, which is now the property of Greek Hellenic Petroleum is by far the biggest fuel supplier in FYROM with considerable exports in surrounding countries as well.
Over the past years there were several accusations of murky deals between OKTA and the government. The opposition claimed OKTA was deliberately left alone unchecked to pollute the environment in return for bigger profits from taxes.
Sent By Samios Makedonas
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