Bill to safeguard national interests in foreign investments in the works

THE OPPOSITION party Sieť is planning to submit a bill on the protection of national security in the area of foreign investments, whereby the Slovak government would have the right to know the true identity of an owner of a company of strategic importance, the TASR newswire reported on July 14.

THE OPPOSITION party Sieť is planning to submit a bill on the protection of national security in the area of foreign investments, whereby the Slovak government would have the right to know the true identity of an owner of a company of strategic importance, the TASR newswire reported on July 14.

Under the bill, the cabinet would also be entitled to know of planned changes in ownership and would have the right to block such changes if the companies concerned refused to provide the information. At the same time, the government would be required to assess the security risks in such a scenario and would have the right to ban such an ownership change should the risks be significant.

The proposal was inspired by the current situation of electricity utility Slovenské Elektrárne (SE). Speculation emerged recently that Italian energy company Enel might sell its 66-percent stake in SE to Russian state energy company Rosatom. Under current laws, Slovakia does not have the right to intervene when it comes to the transfer of ownership between two foreign companies, even if it constitutes a significant national security risk. As far as SE goes, Slovakia’s only influence lies in making use of its pre-emptive right, and that is merely thanks to a shareholders’ agreement, said Sieť member and independent MP Miroslav Beblavý.

“Currently, we have no legal right to know who the true owner of strategic companies is,” Beblavý told the media, as quoted by TASR, and said that a major Slovak company could be owned by a post-box-based company from Cyprus, but the state would not even necessarily know who is behind such a firm.

Security risks are posed by companies owned by a non-EU-member country, a state that is not a signatory to Slovakia’s international commitments and entities that seek excessive control over energy, defence or natural resources, Beblavý maintains.

The party is planning to submit the bill for the parliamentary session in September.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.

Top stories

ETP: State could learn from our work with Roma

WHILE some mayors struggle to improve life in segregated Roma settlements, the non-profit organization ETP Slovakia has helped hundreds of marginalized people construct their own houses. 

Slávka Mačáková, the director of ETP Slovakia

BLOG: Central Europe enjoys strong start into a turbulent year

While the first readings of the year from CEE industry are encouraging, the worrying signals from its dominant export markets emerge.

A fourth carmaker, the British Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) company, is coming to Nitra.

First Slovak Holocaust museum opens Photo

THOSE who survived and were able to return to the former work- and concentration camp in Sereď, now turned into the first Museum of Holocaust in Slovakia, agree that it should have happened long ago.

Holocaust Museum in Sereď

Nurses lost their fight for salaries

THOUGH more than 500 nurses left hospitals in late January, it was not enough to persuade the government to accept their conditions.

President Andrej Kiska met with representatives of nurses.