Dnevnik says govt’s interference in companies hits another level

Ljubljana – Dnevnik says in Tuesday’s commentary that the political interference in state-owned companies has hit another level yesterday as a protege of Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak was appointed to the supervisory board of Petrol.

“The new supervisor of Petrol is Vizjak’s man. Aleksander Zupančič, who was appointed by shareholders to the supervisory board without any reservations, is not only the head of the environment minister’s office. He has been a confidante of Andrej Vizjak for years.”

Under the headline It Doesn’t Matter If He Is Literate, As Long as He’s Ours, the newspaper goes on to say that when Vizjak headed the Economy Ministry, Zupančič was in charge of legal matters there, and was also the director of a public company in a municipality which had been previously headed by Vizjak.

With Zupančič’s appointment, Vizjak did not only secure an extension of his hand to the supervisory board of the country’s largest energy company as a minister and politician, but also as a shareholder.

Dnevnik explains that the Securities Market Agency has been looking since September into suspected abuse of internal information in Vizjak’s purchase of Petrol shares ahead of the full liberalisation of fuel prices.

Furthermore, Zupančič is subject to a criminal procedure due to alleged mobbing and harassing of his former employees, and he could only be grateful to the “slow wheels of the judiciary” that his appointment in Petrol is “only inappropriate and unhygienic.”

The ruling coalition has already subjugated numerous state-owned companies, with 81 new supervisors being appointed and 50 dismissed in the last nine months, and 55 new directors appointed and 33 dismissed in the process.

“Corporate management thus remains a blind spot of the market economy … and detrimental management of state-owned companies only exceptionally ends up in court, while negligent supervision has never been punished in Slovenia.”