THE PERSONNEL appointments made to the boards of the Transpetrol oil transport companz at an extraordinarz shareholders meeting on November 20 have been criticized by the political opposition as a return to the 1994-1998 Vladimír Mečiar era.
“No one even in their dreams would have imagined that these people could return to a place where their job is to protect state assets,” said Pavol Hrušovský, the chairman of the Christian Democrats.
Acting on instructions from Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek, the ministry, the 51 percent majority owner of Transpetrol, appointed Július Rezeš to the supervisory board and Sergej Zapotocký to the board of directors. Both men in the late 1990s were members of the management of the VSŽ steel mill, which was privatized in mysterious circumstances under the Mečiar government, and came close to bankruptcy in 1998 after having made a profit of Sk11 billion the year before.
Rezeš was nominated to Transpetrol by the HZDS party. “He’s educated, and he’s a decisive young man. So why not?” said HZDS MP Ján Kovarčík.
“This is confirmation of how the HZDS regards the period when it was in power and the Rezeš group had a strong position,” said political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov.
The Slovak government is currently in talks with the Kremlin about repurchasing a 49 percent stake in Transpetrol that was privatized to the bankrupt Russian oil company Yukos in 2002.