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Coalition undecided on fate of Slovakia’s state-owned central heating firms

Privatisation of Slovakia’s central heating companies remained an open issue after a meeting of the four-party Coalition Council on February 7, with Prime Minister Iveta Radičová stating after the session that the sale of the firms will be evaluated individually but that some of them might be privatised, the SITA newswire reported. The prime minister indicated that the privatisation could be advantageous for some of the heating companies if an appropriate strategic investor can be found, adding that their economic performance under state control has been problematic, SITA wrote. Slovakia’s National Property Fund, which is the owner of the facilities, is also expected to table alternative solutions including privatisation projects in which local governments and municipalities could participate.

Privatisation of Slovakia’s central heating companies remained an open issue after a meeting of the four-party Coalition Council on February 7, with Prime Minister Iveta Radičová stating after the session that the sale of the firms will be evaluated individually but that some of them might be privatised, the SITA newswire reported.

The prime minister indicated that the privatisation could be advantageous for some of the heating companies if an appropriate strategic investor can be found, adding that their economic performance under state control has been problematic, SITA wrote. Slovakia’s National Property Fund, which is the owner of the facilities, is also expected to table alternative solutions including privatisation projects in which local governments and municipalities could participate.

The process also has to take into account the opinion of EU officials in Brussels, SITA wrote. Coalition leaders said they would like to put an end to political nomination of persons to the management boards of companies that are fully or partially controlled by the state. Radičová told SITA that her team was expected to discuss a blueprint for rules governing selection, management and remuneration of persons sitting on these boards at its regular session on February 9.

The prime minister also said that a draft revision to the law on regulation of network industries will further be modified in the parliament, saying the expected changes are meant to guarantee the maximum independence of the Regulatory Office for Network Industries so that it fulfils its duties properly. The revision of the law, as submitted to parliament, calls for changes in the organisational structure of the regulator as of April. MPs have suggested that the single chairman of regulatory agency be replaced by a three-member commission with its members appointed by the cabinet for six-year terms.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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