Fico wants the state to have a bigger stake in Slovenské Elektrárne

THE GOVERNMENT will be seeking to strengthen its position in the dominant power producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE).

Mochovce nuclear power stationMochovce nuclear power station (Source: TASR)

Prime Minister Robert Fico confirmed this at a discussion forum of the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily, HN Club on April 27. If there came a chance to gain a majority in the company, not only in terms of equity stake but also real management of the company, and it would be possible to negotiate reasonable terms, the government will be greatly interested. PM Fico indirectly informed the other potential buyers of the majority stake the Italian Enel is offering for sale, that they cannot count on any support from the government upon their eventual entry into SE, the SITA newswire reported.

“The government will obstruct the sale of 66 percent of SE, because I feel that our Italian friend wants to flee its responsibility,” said Fico. “Enel must finish the construction of units three and four of the nuclear power station Mochovce.”

PM Fico also suggested that to strengthen the position in the power utility the government could use proceeds that the it expects from the sale of shares of Slovak Telekom, which has already started. Based on the range of the price offer, the proceeds from the sale of the shares should reach from €750 million to €1 billion. However, he also indicated that if the achieved proceeds from the sale of the shares turn out unsatisfactory on the stock exchange, then the government may at some point reject the offer.

“I admit to the use of a part of the proceeds to reduce public debt,” said Fico, according to whom under the current rules proceeds from the sale of government assets cannot be used for any purpose other than to reduce government debt or purchase other assets. “I at the same time acknowledge that the government has a huge interest in active entry into the portfolio of SE.”

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