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EU sues Slovakia over failure to refund cancelled trips during pandemic

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Bratislava, Slovakia – The European Commission is taking Slovakia to court over its failure to refund travelers whose package holidays have been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Slovak law, “travelers whose package holiday is cancelled because of COVID-19 have to either accept an amended package travel contract or a substitute package offered by the organiser […] Alternatively, the travelers are entitled to a refund only after 31 August 2021.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, the EU Commission notes that these rules are in violation of EU law according to which travelers are entitled to a refund within 14 days “if their package travel contract is terminated because of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.”

In July 2020, the European Commission launched infringement procedures against nearly a dozen EU member states (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy and Portugal) whose domestic rules on package travel and reimbursement breach EU provisions on the protection of consumers’ rights.

The EU’s executive body already close the procedures against most of these states, with the exception of Slovakia and Croatia.

Both countries told EU authorities that an amendment to their current legislation would soon be adopted.

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