The Slovenia Times

Politics With Broken Compass: Govt Decides to Slow Privatisation


Bratušek told the press that the procedure to sell the designated state-owned companies will continue and that the new government will have the opportunity to make a decision different from that of the outgoing government.

Among the 15 companies the government put on the priority privatisation list last year, two have already been sold (Helios and Fotona), while airport operator Aerodrom Ljubljana and telco Telekom Slovenije have entered the final stages.

Bratušek explained that it is right that privatisation procedures were not being carried out during the heated pre-election period. The new government will have to take responsibility for its decision following the July 13 election, she added.

Outgoing Finance Minister Uroš Čufer meanwhile expressed disappointment with the decision. "I see this as plain pre-election hysteria the government has fallen into and for which I see no smart reason, let alone an excuse."

The spokesman of Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn meanwhile told the STA that the European Commission did not comment on privatisation in Slovenia. "No comment from us on this," said Simon O'Connor.

Media have recently speculated that Aerodrom Ljubljana would be sold even before the appointment of the new cabinet, while the dailies Dnevnik and Finance today ran unofficial reports about eight potential buyers which have submitted non-binding bids for Telekom.

The government also requested from the SSH, the manager of state-owned assets, to call a general assembly meeting of the NLB bank as soon as possible to fill a vacant post on the supervisory board of Slovenia's No. 1 bank.

On Tuesday, the AGM failed to appoint the missing seventh member of the supervisory board after France Arhar stepped down as chief supervisor in April. The appointment was removed from the AGM's agenda upon SSH's proposal.

Bratuškek said today that it was irresponsible from SSH to do so, noting that NLB is a large systemic bank which needs a complete supervisory board as soon as possible.


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