The situation surrounding the Gabčíkovo hydropower plant and the rental contract between the Slovenské Elektrárne, SE, energy company (whose majority owner is the Italian Enel company) and the Slovak state, recently terminated by the Slovak government, is getting even more complicated.
On December 16, Tuesday, police made a raid on Enel’s headquarters in Bratislava. The police operation was allegedly related to the events around Gabčíkovo dam, private TV channel JOJ informed. According to Police President Tibor Gašpar, police were only collecting documentary evidence, while nobody was detained.
“Since this morning, police have been performing additional seizure operations in accordance with the Criminal Procedure in cases that were publicised some time ago and relate to Slovenské Elektrárne,” Gašpar confirmed for TV JOJ. “The current investigation led to the conclusion that it is necessary to provide further evidence.” The police also came to the power plant in Gabčíkovo and the nuclear facility in Jaslovske Bohunice.
The ruling Smer party is increasing pressure on Enel, the E-trend economic website commented, adding that according to SE, the Tuesday raid was a follow-up to a similar summer police raid.
“Investigators continued to secure documents and data which they started this summer,” SE spokesperson Janka Burdová told the SITA newswire. “Slovenské elektrárne offers its full cooperation with investigators and their experts.”
Spokesperson of the Economy Ministry Miriam Žiaková said that police have been interested in documents connected to the privatisation of SE. Enel thinks that the July raid was not connected with their activities within the SE.
The government recently terminated the lease contract for the hydropower plant Gabčíkovo with the Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) company, but now the Sme daily suggests that this termination may actually be a good thing for SE. On December 11, Prime Minister Robert Fico maintained that before taking over the plant, the Slovak government had notified SE and its Italian owner Enel that they had failed to stick to their contractual obligations.
Slovenské Elektrárne officials reject all reservations raised by Fico regarding the alleged breach of contract on plant’s operation. Spokeswoman Janka Burdová
told SITA that they are still expecting the official delivery of the termination notice and she has not ruled out that they would take legal action.
Vodohospodarska Vystavba operating under the Environment Ministry, submitted a report to the cabinet at the end of August this year, according to which SE fails to observe the contract on the lease of the Gabčíkovo power plant. Enel is allegedly not fulfilling its obligation to pay €5 million annually to Vodohospodárska Výstavba which manages the whole Gabčíkovo project. On December 16, Vodohospodárska výstavba filed a criminal complaint against an unknown perpetrator who is the statutory body of SE, accusing “some people” of the crime of attempted fraud, the TASR newswire wrote.
(Source: TV JOJ, E-trend, SITA, TASR)
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. Dec 2014 at 14:00