The Slovak government again interrupted discussion on the long-standing problem of rent controls involving apartments that were returned to their previous owners, as the cabinet on July 15 failed to agree on the time schedule for future legislative changes, the TASR newswire reported.
Prime Minister Robert Fico described the issue as 'highly sensitive', as it features a clash between the interests of the owners of the flats and the tenants who in some cases have been living there for decades. According to the Prime Minister, the government doesn't want to solve this problem by replacing one injustice with another. Therefore, it will discuss a definitive solution thoroughly.
Rent control for these residences should have been cancelled several times but it has always been postponed. The current proposal counts on the state ensuring replacement housing with controlled rents for the affected tenants. Construction minister Igor Štefanov submitted a concept for resolving the matter after ministry officials had spent a year preparing it. But in the end, negotiations between the Construction Ministry, the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, the Justice Ministry and the Finance Ministry resulted in a recommendation to examine the matter in more depth.
Slovakia's Prosecutor General Dobroslav Trnka reacted to TASR on July 15 that the owners of apartment houses to whom the regulation of rent applies would probably be successful if they took legal action for protection of their ownership rights in international courts. At the same time, Trnka emphasised that the owners must first explore all available legal possibilities in Slovakia, which could take some time.
“I think that the concept prepared by the ministers of finance and construction is good and it should be developed. One has to realise that private owners cannot pay the freight for tenants to whom the flats were assigned under various circumstances 30 or 40 years ago,” Trnka commented. 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.
16. Jul 2009 at 10:00