Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is still talking to U.S. Steel about the future ownership of its steelworks in Košice, the SITA newswire reported. Last year U.S. Steel said it was planning to sell the plant, which is the largest employer in eastern Slovakia.
In comments to the media, Fico returned to a familiar theme, blaming politicians who helped secure the sale, over ten years ago, of the then virtually bankrupt steelworks to U.S. Steel. “Those who sold the Východoslovenské Železiarne [the former name of the steelworks] are maliciously laughing at the moment, when they see us how we struggle with the Americans to secure employment in this region,” said Fico, as quoted by SITA. “So we are fighting on all fronts. We are doing everything to keep the investor in Slovakia.”
At the moment there are several teams negotiating with U.S. Steel to find solutions in the area of transport, energy and the environment, Fico said, adding that the Americans are interested in further talks with the Slovak government.
“I have informally met with the highest representative of U.S. Steel Košice again. There is a big interest on both sides to continue in these negotiations and to find a solution for this investor to stay in Slovakia,” Fico stressed.
The parent company of U.S. Steel Košice (USSK), the United States Steel Corporation, said at the end of last year that it had received offers to sell its Slovak plant since it has good financial results and strategic position in the region. However, USSK spokesperson Ján Bača refused to specify exactly what offers had been received. The media later reported that one of the possible buyers might be Ukrainian firm Metinvest, which belongs to the System Capital Management group owned by Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Achmetov, SITA wrote.
For more information about this story please see: State still in talks over steel mill
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Jan 2013 at 10:00