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BUSINESS SHORTS

New SPP managers close to Mečiar-era clans

THE SLOVAK government's nominees who will head the SPP gas utility have close ties to the privatisation clans that profited under the 1994 - 1998 Vladimír Mečiar government.

Among the nominees approved on February 9 is lawyer Anton Novák, who worked for the controversial Košice-based Rezeš family. Novák has become the new deputy chairman of SPP's board of directors, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote.

Other nominees to SPP's boards include associates of Slavomír Hatina, the former head of the Slovnaft oil refinery (Ján Dudášik and Miroslav Gažo), and Peter Hlaváč, an associate of the influential businessman Milan Fiľo.

The supervisory board also features Martin Ryba, who co-manages the Slovak ice-hockey association together with Juraj Široký, a businessman who was listed as an agent with the communist secret service.

"These people were proposed and approved. There's nothing more to say on the matter," said the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia's deputy chairman Milan Urbáni.

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