Phone bill will not be paid

Alan Heath
08-06-2001, 00:00

Phone bill will not be paid

Confirming our report yesterday, telephone operators Netia, El-Net and Telefonia Lokalna have filed a request with the communications ministry to have their phone concessions cancelled. Although they are not saying it openly, what they really mean is that they do not want to pay for the licence fees. This is not surprising because as from next year they could get a licence for a great deal less.

The treasury will not be welcoming this news. In the case of these companies alone the licence fees come to over EUR370m and by the time other companies are counted, the total comes to well over EUR400m. This is particularly unwelcome as privatisation revenues are likely to be much less than planned and to cap it off this is an election year.

The telephone companies are a bit short of cash themselves at the moment and they have found safety in numbers. Netia has still EUR104m in instalments to pay, while TL will have to find EUR157m and El E Net EUR112m.

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