TRANSPORT Minister Ľubomír Vážny is considering selling the government's stake in T-Mobile Slovensko.
However, the state has no control over the mobile operator, which is 100 percent owned by fixed-line operator Slovak Telekom (ST), which in turn is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom. The state has only a 49 percent stake in ST.
Vážny reasoned that "since the third mobile operator, Telefonica O2 Slovakia, should launch operations
on the Slovak telecommunications market next year, competition on the market will increase and the state role there will thus no longer be necessary. Therefore, I would like to present this idea to representatives of Slovak Telekom's majority shareholder, Deutsche Telekom, as well as to the Slovak government."
The minister also said that he does not plan selling the state’s shares in ST. He wants to meet with the shareholders within 10 days and PM Robert Fico is also allegedly interested in attending the meeting.
According to the Sme daily, the whole statement was probably a faux pas. The ministry later tried to withdraw the information from news agencies, which ran it right after the press conference. When contacted later through his spokesman, the minister refused to comment further on the plans.