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State cancels the sale of Bratislava airport

THE GOVERNMENT yesterday definitively cancelled the privatization of a 66 percent stake in the Bratislava airport to the Airport TwoOne consortium.

"The state will make sure that the airport continues developing and that external resources and loans are available," said Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny, adding that the airport is in good financial condition.

The airport’s annual turnover is around Sk1 billion, and is expected to grow by 10-15 percent annually.

"Without the help of the state, the airport is able to get a loan of Sk2-2.5 billion," Vážny said.

By canceling the privatization of the airport, however, the government runs the risk of international arbitration with TwoOne.

"I have no reason to be afraid of arbitration because the bidder did not fulfill the terms that it was obliged to fulfill in writing," said PM Robert Fico.

The consortium did not manage to gain approval for the takeover of the airport from the Slovak Anti-Trust Bureau (PMÚ). The consortium suspects, however, that the PMÚ’s decision was influenced by the government, particularly by Fico’s Smer party, which opposed the sale of Bratislava airport. The sale started under the previous government of Mikuláš Dzurinda.

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