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Metalco BT v Hungary

In Metalco BT v Hungary (ECHR Case 34976/05) a Hungarian company (M) owed 10 000 000 forints in tax. The tax authority exercised the power of ‘attachment’ over M’s shareholding in another company. This prevented M from raising funds by selling the shareholding. In 1999 the tax authority released the power of attachment. M applied to the ECHR for a ruling that the exercise of the power of attachment contravened Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR accepted this contention finding that the tax authority should have held an auction to sell the shareholding within two months of the attachment but had not done so. The ECHR awarded M damages of €5 000.

Why it matters: The ECHR held that the delay in releasing the power of attachment contravened the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights....

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