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POLAND: President may refer vodka dispute to Constitutional Court

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Poland's President, Aleksander Kwasniewski, will decide today what to do with the controversial Industrial Property Law, which is set to rob Pernod Ricard of its Polish vodka brands, according to Polish reports.The Property law, passed by the Sejm and the Senate, will deprive Agros Holdings, in which Pernod Ricard holds a controlling stake, the international rights to many of Poland's leading vodka brands, including Wyborowa. The international rights will be transferred to the Polmoses that produce the vodkas.The President is expected to refer the issue to the Constitutional Court for a ruling on whether the transfer is legal. According to Polish press reports, some legal experts have described the law as an attempt to rob Agros of its legal property.Most observers agree that the decision should be made by independent courts and not a legislative body.If the President decides not to refer the ruling to the courts, he could sign or veto the law himself.Chris Brook-Carter


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