POLAND - The new Polish treasury minister Aleksander Grad will be meeting with representatives of Dutch insurer Eureko to discuss the future of insurance giant PZU.

The Polish government, which has been in office since November, has taken a major step in trying to resolve the decade-long dispute over the privatisation of the PZU.

In the meeting next Thursday, both parties will "present their positions and express their intentions as regards further steps in that matter", the treasury noted in an announcement.

"There seem to be reason for more optimism than there has been in the past," a spokeswoman for Eureko told IPE. "We will wait and see what happens next Thursday," she added cautiously.

She confirmed Grad had announced wanting to host a meeting shortly after taking office. The invitation was then sent at the end of December and Eureko accepted, the treasury stated.

In 1999 Eureko bought a 30% stake in PZU in 1999 with an option of acquiring another 21% after the privatisation.

However, privatisation plans have been put at bay ever since and the former Polish goverment under Jarosław Kaczyński actually revoked the privatisation promise.

The coalition between the pro-business Civic Platform and the centrist Polish People's Party under prime minister Donald Tusk now in government asked the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for help in the matter in early December.  (See earlier IPE story: Polish gov't asks EBRD for help over PZU)

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