Slota: heating plant appraisals are manipulated

Leader of the nationalist party SNS, Jan Slota, has taken a swipe at the government’s plans to privatise the six biggest heating companies in the country, accusing the government yesterday of fixing the official appraisals on the value of the companies.

Slota claims the government has manipulated the values determined by expert appraisals so it can sell the companies cheap. He made reference to how the former two governments of Mikulas Dzurinda from 1998-2006 used a similar system to sell off the gas utility SPP, Slovak Telekom and power producer Slovenske Elektrarne.

Slota said the government was basically selling off the “family jewels”, and that the claims of the government that prices will not go up after the sale are not based on any analysis or study. He therefore believes that the sale of the six heating companies could be the subject of cronyism.

The government is still undecided whether to privatise the heating companies in Bratislava, Kosice, Martin, Trnava, Zilina and Zvolen completely or just part of them, and it should make a final decision at the beginning of this month. According to estimates of the national property fund FNM, the sale should generate revenue of around EUR 160-200 million.

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