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Košice forest tender ignored by investors

THE FIRST round of tender proceedings for the sale or lease of city forests in debt-ridden Košice has passed without a single concrete bid.

Košice, Slovakia's second largest city, in May announced a tender to sell or rent 19,300 hectares of forests and associated assets as part of its effort to restructure its massive Sk2 billion debt. The loans resulted from extensive city reconstruction financed through short-term loans under the 1994-1998 mayoral term of current Slovak President Rudolf Schuster.

One potential investor made the required 1 million euro returnable deposit in the tender, but their request for an extension on the bid submission term was turned down by the city's selection commission, said Zuzana Bobriková, Košice city council spokesperson.

The selection commission will recommend that Mayor Zdenko Trebuľa address other potential investors in the second round of the tender so the selection process can be completed by the city council's July session.

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