“I rule this out; it won’t be used [for purposes other than for tackling a potential crisis in the banking sector, which is the original aim of the bank levy],” he stressed, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Kažimír was entrusted with overseeing the Economy Ministry earlier in the day. The finance-turned-economy minister was speaking in response to statements made a day earlier by independent MPs Juraj Miškov and Jozef Kollár (of the new opposition SKOK party) who expressed public expectations when claiming that the government is putting people’s bank deposits under threat by planning to use the banking levy to buy a majority stake in SE.
The two MPs in turn referred to statements made by Prime Minister Robert Fico on RTVS’s political talk show Saturday Dialogues, when Fico emphasised that government is obliged to respond to various crisis scenarios. “By way of example, if we’re beginning to contend to [increase the stake in] Slovenské Elektrárne, we need certain resources for this," he said. “If we, for example, use resources from other funds to buy up shares in SE, we’ll be able to use funds collected from banks for other purposes.”
The government, for instance, recently decided to use bank levy funds to buy up 50 percent of the claims of unsecured creditors of construction company Váhostav-SK which is currently undergoing restructuring.
The state owns 34 percent of SE at the moment, but it is planning to acquire full control over by buying part of the 66-percent stake owned by Italian company Enel.
Kazimir, the finance minister, was recently appointed acting economy minister.
“My presence at the Ministry of Economy will be short but intense,” Kažimír said after being appointed by President Andrej Kiska, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
“I would like to be the minister of economy in the month of May, or perhaps in the spring. I’ll be there for just a few weeks,” he said. However, he was unable to specify when a new permanent minister of economy could be appointed.
Kažimír was authorised to lead the Economy Ministry after Pavol Pavlis resigned in the wake of a widely publicised scandal surrounding a public order for the company of his brother-in-law.
7. May 2015 at 0:38 | Compiled by Spectator staff