BUSINESS IN SHORT

Sieť proposes against Russians

PRIVATE owners of firms should not be allowed to sell their shares to whomever they like based on a proposal by the extra-parliamentary Sieť party, which seeks to limit such rights in cases where national security is threatened.

PRIVATE owners of firms should not be allowed to sell their shares to whomever they like based on a proposal by the extra-parliamentary Sieť party, which seeks to limit such rights in cases where national security is threatened.

The proposal is a reaction to the decision of Italian energy group Enel’s Board of Directors to sell its 66-percent stake in the country’s largest electricity company, Slovenské Elektrárne (SE). The sale of the 66-percent stake in SE is part of Enel’s plan to sell €4.4 billion of its assets to cut net debt to around €37 billion by the year’s end, Reuters wrote on July 5.

However, Russian state firm Rosatom may be a potential buyer and Sieť representatives pointed out that it would increase Slovakia’s energy dependency on Russia, the Sme daily reported.

“Slovakia is already significantly dependent on the Russian Federation in the energy sector,” says Sieť’s statement, “and such a sale could bring our dependency to the highest level in the EU.”

The ruling Smer party does not support the proposal. Smer’s MP Dušan Muňko explained that contracts with Enel from 2006 say that Slovakia has only minimal powers to affect the selling of SE shares and it cannot change that. The only option for the country is to use its pre-emptive right and buy SE’s shares, which would be too expensive, according to former economy minister Tomáš Malatinský.

According to the proposed legislation, the government should have the right to learn about the real owners of firms of strategic importance and it should have the right to know about planned changes in ownership. In cases when firms would not provide such information, the government would be able to stop the transfer of ownership rights, according to the Hospodárske Noviny daily.

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

At the same time, the government would be obliged to asses the risks for national security in the event of such a sale, and in case of a significant threat, it should have the right to forbid the owner from selling its shares, according to proposal.

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.

Sieť leader Radoslav Procházka said that he expects a broad consensus on this issue pointing out that such legislation is standard in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and France.

The party is planning to submit the bill for the parliamentary session in September, claiming that it needs to react to an urgent situation. Beblavý said that Rosatom is the most active firm interested in SE.

“It is the company which openly admitted that it is a primary tool of Russian foreign policy,” Beblavý said, as quoted by TASR.

Top stories

UPDATED: Report: Slovakia a finalist to host new car plant

SLOVAKIA and Poland are said to be the last two countries competing for a new unspecified car plant while final decision could be made in the summer 2015.

Monk seal, to be seen in a movie at Ekotopfilm/Envirofilm festival in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica

Countrywide events

Tips for events between May 22 and 31, including a concert of top four world/ethno music Slovak bands, a festival of environmental movies, days of architecture, an opera premiere, a literary festival, two markets of…

The TSS team in 2010: from left,bottom row: Jana Liptáková, Beata Balogová, Ján Pallo, Zuzana Vilikovská; top row: Donald Spatz, Tatiana Štrauchová, Marta Fukasová, Michaela Terenzani, Roman Král, Martina Mišíková, Dáša Košútová, Beata Fojtíková, James Thomson

More independent thought and self-confidence for Slovakia

The Slovak Spectator has been covering the development of Slovakia for two decades now. On the occasion of the celebration of its 20th anniversary it surveyed its founder, head of the Petit Press publishing house as…

Asian tourists in Bratislava

Bratislava tourists good for little more than a three hour tour

IN THE tourist season, the Slovak capital is frequently visited by tourists, including Austrians, Americans and tourists from Asia alike. But most stay just long enough for a brief guided tour, and coffee break…

MOST READ ARTICLES


  1. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  2. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  3. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  4. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  5. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  6. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  7. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  8. UPDATED: Report: Slovakia a finalist to host new car plant
  9. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  10. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  1. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  2. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  3. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  4. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  5. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  6. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  7. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  8. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  9. Slovak aid to Nepal remains grounded
  10. Bratislava tourists good for little more than a three hour tour
  1. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  2. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  3. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  4. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  5. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  6. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  7. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  8. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  9. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  10. Slovak aid to Nepal remains grounded