The former communist SDĽ party has agreed to modify its objections to a government law allowing state-owned utilities and monopolies to be sold. The law is presently stuck in its second reading in parliament.
The SDĽ has agreed to allow the minimum state share in telecom monopoly Slovenské Telekomunikácie (ST) and insurer Slovenská Poisťovňa to be lowered from 51% to 34%, and to allow the outright sale of state bank Všeobecná Úverová Banka (VÚB).
The SDĽ still insists, however, that parliament rather than cabinet have authority over privatisation decisions, and that the state keep a majority stake in gas utility SPP, energy utility SE and its three regional distributors, pipeline company Transpetrol and state bank Slovenská Sporiteľňa (SLSP).
The government has been trying since June to agree on the sale of all state-owned companies with the exception of forestry companies and a few regional power firms.
30. Aug 1999 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA