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SDĽ again questions gas sale

Pavol Koncoš, the Agriculture Minister recently elected head of the SDĽ ruling coalition party, has repeated calls to stop the privatisation of gas utility SPP.

The party has objected to the sale of a 49% stake in the world's second largest gas distributor. Some of its members have suggested the state only privatise a 25% share. However, government ministers, including Privatisation Minister Mária Machová, have said such a stake would not interest strong strategic partners for the company.

Robert Fico, the head of the country's second most popular party, the non-parliamentary Smer, has also attacked the government over the sale. He alleged it intends to sell the SPP gas utility to an investor with no relation to the gas industry, and that it intends to give the investor managerial control over the state firm, which would be illegal. The 49% stake could be worth as much as $3 billion. It is due to be sold off by the end of next month.

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