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IN SHORT

New FNM president is SNS nominee

THE PARLIAMENT approved personnel changes in the National Property Fund (FNM) management team on August 4. The new president of the organisation will be Peter Šimko, a Slovak National Party (SNS) candidate. Šimko, who turned 50 in July, has worked for the police department for 24 years. Since 2004, he has been on the board of water-management company Severoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, news agency TASR wrote.

Apart from Russian, the new FNM head cannot speak any other foreign languages, which may complicate negotiations with foreign investors. The new management team will administrate the Fund's accounts. FNM has over Sk40 billion (€1.06 billion) at its disposal. It expects expenditures of Sk22 billion through the end of this year.

Following the personnel changes at the Fund, the economy ministry can also start replacing people in companies under the control of the state. This could involve Slovak gas utility SPP, electrical utility Slovenské elektrárne, electrical transmission company SEPS to name but a few of the most important state owned companies.

Prime Minister Robert Fico rules out any privatisations of strategic companies, but the government may consider selling off smaller firms.

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