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Weakening USD caused SPP loss but reduced foreign debt

On Wednesday, SDKÚ-DS MP and former finance minister Ivan Mikloš defended the 2002 privatization of the Slovak Gas Industry (SPP). "It's nonsense and lies," said Mikloš, referring to the informational value of a report on the SPP sale recently prepared by the Economy Ministry. According to Mikloš, the author's arguments elicit his incompetence and lack of knowledge of conditions under which big international trades operate. He refuted accusations about not insuring the risks resulting from exchange rate volatility by saying that in such cases it's impossible to insure against risks. He said that although Slovakia lost Sk7 billion (€208 million) via the exchange rate between the Slovak koruna and U.S. dollar, at the same time, expressed in crowns, the foreign debt in the U.S. dollar account fell.

On Wednesday, SDKÚ-DS MP and former finance minister Ivan Mikloš defended the 2002 privatization of the Slovak Gas Industry (SPP). "It's nonsense and lies," said Mikloš, referring to the informational value of a report on the SPP sale recently prepared by the Economy Ministry. According to Mikloš, the author's arguments elicit his incompetence and lack of knowledge of conditions under which big international trades operate. He refuted accusations about not insuring the risks resulting from exchange rate volatility by saying that in such cases it's impossible to insure against risks. He said that although Slovakia lost Sk7 billion (€208 million) via the exchange rate between the Slovak koruna and U.S. dollar, at the same time, expressed in crowns, the foreign debt in the U.S. dollar account fell.

Miklos doesn't agree with the argument that SPP was sold below its market value. "It's true that the selling party (Slovakia) set the SPP's value to $6-8 billion, but the seller is always interested in showing that what he sells has a greater value." On the other hand, he said that the estimate from the purchase was only $2 billion. According to Mikloš, the only market price was $2.7 billion which the interested party paid. Mikloš generally evaluated the report as legal and economic and an attempt by the Coalition to cover up its incompetence to solve the real problems of the country. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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