The Slovak parliament will hold a no-confidence vote concerning Prime Minister Robert Fico - the first such move since he has taken up the position – on September 17, as summoned by Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška, at the behest of opposition MPs.
A total of 56 MPs of the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH), Most-Híd, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) and New Majority-Agreement (NOVA) signed the motion on September 13, in reaction to the publicised information that the documents based on which the government detailed the proposal to buy the remaining 49 percent of the SPP gas utility’s parent company were prepared by the J&T financial group – a partner in the seller’s holding. The documents have the J&T Investment Advisors mark in their header, the TASR newswire wrote.
The state will buy the shares in SPP from the Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) in which J&T is co-owner. EPH is a relatively new minority SPP shareholder that is set to give up its 49-percent stake in the SPP parent company to the Slovak state in a debt-equity swap. The Slovak government green-lighted the takeover of the 49-percent stake and managerial control in SPP from EPH on September 4. In exchange for the 49-percent stake, the government will take over half of the company’s debt, €59 million, from EPH. The electronic draft document on the SPP sale, approved on September 4 by the government, features the name of the J&T Investment Advisors company in its ‘file properties’.
The opposition claims that the state is not ruled by the government, but rather by the financial group; moreover, it has criticised the government for what it says are the disadvantageous terms of the deal.
Over the previous weekend, Fico said the financial group’s header on the documents was a result of “a normal communication” between two SPP shareholders [the state holds a minority stake in the SPP], TASR wrote. Fico appeared as the only guest in a televised talk show on the news-only TA3 TV channel. He accused the current opposition of causing this situation when it privatised the state-owned SPP.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
17. Sep 2013 at 10:00