Slovakias Transport Minister Lubomir Vazny will refer to the opinion of the European Commission (EC) on whether the clearance of all Austrian Airlines debts could be written off as state assistance for the Slovak Airlines (SA).

The issue emerged soon after the AUA unveiled that the Slovak Airlines, whose 62-per-cent stake has been in AUA hands for four years now, had more debt than officially stated at the time of the purchase.

"If its regarded as state assistance, we have no other possibility. If its not regarded as state assistance, we will try to rescue this company," Vazny said in response to a journalistic question whether the cabinet had plans to join the SA rescue team.

Vazny believes the EC will return an answer within the next four months, while the cabinet will consider the issue at its session next week.

AUA has requested SKK 171 million (EUR 4.8 million) in funds from the Slovak state in a bid to cover the hidden liabilities of SA. The Austrian air carrier warned that it would run the SA provided that the Slovak state reinstates SKK 200 million in liabilities. In addition, if the restructuring requires more money, it was set to be paid by the Slovak Republic.