The Slovenia Times

Privatisation Opponents Say Sovereignty in Jeopardy


Organised by a group of associations dubbed Citizens against Fire Sale, the debate called for new business models in state-owned companies.

The participants urged the government to halt ongoing sales. "The crisis triggered a fire-sale and the situation in Slovenia today is drastic," said Emil Pintar, a member of the group.

Slovenia has sold half of its pharmaceutical industry and important banks, among other things, said Pintar.

If this trend continues, Slovenia will soon be left with less than a third of its 100 state-owned companies, which in turn raises the issue of sovereignty, Pintar added.

Matjaž Gams of Slovenia's top research facility, the Jožef Stefan Institute, expressed indignation over statements that company ownership does not matter.

"We've lost all sense of reason. You're worth only as much as you hold in your doesn't it matter whether you're dead or alive, healthy or sick?"

Pintar moreover said that the group "believes that our joint assets do not have to be sold, we only need to manage them better".

The group urged the government to address management issues in order to establish transparency and public oversight, staring with the Sovereign Holding and the Bank asset Management Company (BAMC).

Finance Ministry State Secretary Metod Dragonja, who attended the debate, said that the government was not only focusing on privatisation but also on management of state assets.

The ministry is currently working on a strategy for state-owned businesses, which will include 107 companies. Of these 15 are being sold or have already been sold, he added.


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