NEWS

OKTA ruling does not affect ownership

Hellenic Petroleum managing director Athanassios Karachalios and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski yesterday discussed ways to extend the activities of fuel refinery OKTA into Kosovo, Karachalios said after their meeting. This represents a shift in Crvenkovski’s position from earlier declarations that his government would reconsider a 1999 deal by its predecessor selling a 66.5 percent stake in OKTA to Hellenic Petroleum. On Wednesday, FYROM’s constitutional court had annulled legislation allowing OKTA to import crude oil and petroleum products almost tax-free. Court officials said the decision does not affect the ownership status of OKTA, as early reports had erroneously indicated. OKTA must now be reimbursed, FYROM government spokesman Laso Tsolakovski said yesterday.