The re-purchase of 49 percent of Transpetrol shares by the Slovak state will have no impact on the state budget deficit, said Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek speaking on public broadcaster Slovak Television's (STV) programme ‘O päť minút dvanásť’ (Five Minutes to Twelve) on Sunday, March 29. Jahnátek said that the government will obtain the money for the purchase from the state’s financial assets.
Slovakia signed a contract for the re-purchase of Transpetrol shares worth €180.52 million on Thursday, March 26. The purchase still has to be approved by the Slovak Anti-Trust Office.
Transpetrol manages oil pipelines transiting Slovakia and the minister said that it is important to control these. As a lack of energy is beginning to be felt at a global level, control over pipelines conveying energy products will be important, he said. Jahnátek noted that when Transpetrol was under the control of Russian concern Yukos, the price of energy transmission rose by 400 percent, but the company wasn't further developed, the TASR newswire wrote.
Opposition KDH MP Július Brocka, also appearing on the show, said that the opposition agrees with Slovakia being the 100-percent owner of Transpetrol but that this is a special case. He said that the company was privatised during the tenure of the former government in order to join forces with a strategic partner, as Transpetrol wasn't making profit. He also said, however, that there was a lesson to be learned in this case: strategic partners should come from the West and not from the East. Slovak ownership of Transpetrol should be used for Slovakia's benefit, said Brocka.
The minister also observed that the Government wants to get ownership of the Gabčíkovo dam back but since court proceedings are being held regarding this water facility, he didn't want to make any further comments. Regarding Slovak electricity producer, Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), Jahnátek said that the decision on whether to seek to regain this company will depend on how the firm behaves. He said the same also goes for other enterprises privatised in the past. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
30. Mar 2009 at 14:00