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Sme: Piešťany spa faces bankruptcy proceeding

The most famous Slovak spa, Piešťany, is facing bankruptcy, according to the Sme daily.

The most famous Slovak spa, Piešťany, is facing bankruptcy, according to the Sme daily.

The British owner of the spa, Danubius Hotels Group, claims that Swiss France, a company which bought outstanding debt worth €7 million from businessman and former minority co-owner of the spa Karol Martinka, is threatening to ruin the spa. Martinka partially privatised the once state-owned spa during the era of Vladimír Mečiar and his HZDS party, Sme wrote in its Tuesday, July 9 issue.

Piešťany spa representatives deem the debt purchased by Swiss France to be invalid, and are involved in a related court battle. Martinka objected to the new British owner’s termination of the contract with his company after buying the spa from the state. Piešťany spa representatives considered the contract to be simply a front for enabling embezzlement within the spa. The spa’s lawyer, Juraj Bizoň, considers the bankruptcy proceeding that started on July 8 to be a form of threat.

The courts have so far not decided the case, with Piešťany spa having filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court. However, if the court confirms the bankruptcy, the Slovak state also faces a financial loss: the British owner claimed several times that if it loses the dispute, it will seek damage compensation from state, as there was no mention of any outstanding debt at the time the spa was purchased from the state.

The Piešťany spa was at the core of a dispute between the state and the Vadium Company owned by Martinka, with filed lawsuits and protracted court trials leading to no palpable results.

(Source: Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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