THE NATIONAL Property Fund (FNM) has begun the process of selling six state-owned heating plants, the Sme daily reported on June 22. The process will not end in complete private ownership as the state has promised that 5-percent of the shares of each heating company will remain under the control of the six municipalities. Local authorities will also be guaranteed a seat on the boards of directors.
The municipalities, however, are still saying they would like to have a majority ownership so that they can manage and control the companies, Sme reported. The municipalities are warning that sale of the heating plants might bring higher prices to household consumers of the heat.
The government decided earlier this year to privatise the companies, arguing that they brought only meagre dividends to the state.
There have also been several reports of poor or questionable business practices by the state-appointed managers. Sme wrote that the Bratislava heating company bought software programs for €9.1 million in 2008 without any public tender and that its management also bought luxurious furniture that cost over €2.6 million.
27. Jun 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff