The Slovenia Times

Delo says Sava sale scare is "a storm in a teacup"


Ljubljana - Delo says in Saturday's front-page commentary that the scare related to the York fund potentially selling its 47% stake in the tourism company Sava to Hungarians was "a storm in a teacup", as the state will most likely exercise its pre-emptive right to the stake.

"It is certain that the uncertainty about the fate of major Slovenian hotels throughout the country was completely unnecessary," the newspaper says under the headline Unnecessary Hotel Drama.

Delo notes that the strategy devised by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, adopted in 2017, envisaged a state tourism holding, but the plans have fell through due to different political and private interests of individuals.

A different kind of development has not been sought for state-owned tourism companies, either. If it was, these companies, including Sava, would already be restructured and the state could be looking for suitable owners.

What is more, the state would not have found itself cornered by York, as the fund has signed a contract to sell the stake in Sava to Hungary's Prestige Tourism, after getting tired of the state not being serious about buying the stake, Delo says.

"But even if the state exercises its pre-emptive right, and thus completely nationalises Sava, the fate of its hotels is not certain," the paper says, adding that the state would have to get green light from the competition watchdog.

This is not a given due to the high concentration of state ownership in tourism, and the word is that it is quite likely that the watchdog will ask for certain guarantees of sale within a certain period of time.

"And then Slovenian hotels will be preyed on again," concludes the commentary.


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