The Merchant Marine Ministry yesterday fined telecoms equipment and software-maker Intracom 29.14 million euros for serious problems that have plagued the Vessel Traffic Management and Information System (VTMIS) ever since it was ordered. The ministry has long held that Intracom has been responsible for long delays in the delivery of VTMIS and the serious shortcomings in its operation. The system, which was subsidized under the European Union’s Community Support Framework investment programs II and III, was initially budgeted at 16 million euros but the contract signed with Intracom on December 29, 1999 was for 21.6 million euros, with delivery slated for two years later. It was eventually delivered with considerable problems on September 1, 2005. In a statement later yesterday, Intracom disputed the validity of the fine and said it would fight it in court. «The imposition of the fine is not lawful, in both formal and substantial senses. The company reserves the right to seek redress for its lawful interests before justice and intends to directly adopt all measures necessary to fight the decision and overturn it,» Intracom said.