NEWS FROM THE OMRI DAILY DIGEST

PRIVATIZATION IN SLOVAKIA.

The National Property Fund (FNM) on 1 August privatized 40 firms through direct sales, Narodna obroda reported. Several key firms were sold, including the construction company Hydrostav Bratislava and the printing firm Danubiaprint Bratislava. The FNM approved the sales, despite an agreement between Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar and the opposition Party of the Democratic Left, guaranteeing that privatization would be halted until the composition of the FNM boards is changed toinclude opposition representatives (see OMRI Daily Digest, 24 July 1996). FNM Presidium President Stefan Gavornik said several ministers pressured him to continue privatizing. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Meciar's party told Reuters on 1 August that talks will soon begin with the opposition aimed at bringing "more consensus" in the parliament. - Sharon Fisher

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