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Slovak president signs controversial Strategic Enterprises Act

President Ivan Gašparovič signed the controversial Strategic Enterprises Act on November 26, as he concluded that measures outlined in the legislation aim to mitigate the impact of the global crisis, the TASR newswire wrote.

President Ivan Gašparovič signed the controversial Strategic Enterprises Act on November 26, as he concluded that measures outlined in the legislation aim to mitigate the impact of the global crisis, the TASR newswire wrote.

The law, approved by Parliament in fast-tracked proceedings on November 5, raised a groundswell of complaints from the opposition parties as well as trade unions and business and employer associations who claimed that they hadn't been consulted in the process of drafting the law. The Trade Union Confederation (KOZ) and the Slovak Federation of Employers Associations (AZZZ) eventually asked Gašparovič to veto the act.

Under the legislation the state will, until the end of 2010, have the right of first refusal to purchase enterprises deemed as strategic that are in bankruptcy proceedings and are important in terms of health protection, state security and the overall performance of the state economy.

This strategic status is determined by the number of employees (over 500), considerable importance in the sphere of energy, waterworks, sewerage or water treatment facilities. The main reason why the legislation came before Parliament is the current problems at chemicals company Novácke Chemické Zavody (NCHZ), which is facing bankruptcy due to a fine that it regards as ruinous. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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