Ziga: Sulik Should Stop Sale of VSE Shares and Explain His Moves

Ziga: Sulik Should Stop Sale of VSE Shares and Explain His Moves

Nitra, August 5 (TASR) – Peter Ziga, a former economy minister and MP working for emerging party Voice-Social Democracy, has called on current head of the ministry Richard Sulik (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) to stop the sale of shares of electric utility Vychodoslovenska Energetika Holding (VSE), TASR learnt on Wednesday.

Sulik was also challenged to publish the analysis on which he based his decision not to exercise the state’s right of first refusal regarding VSE. Ziga has announced that he’ll initiate an extraordinary meeting of the parliamentary economic committee concerning the matter. He also wants a parliamentary survey to take place.

The state quietly, almost secretly, agreed with a German investor to sell the shares to a German group, which will put two thirds of Slovakia’s electricity supplies in the hands of a single large foreign entity, said former prime minister and leader of emerging party Voice-Social Democracy Peter Pellegrini.

“No one knows why the economy minister decided not to exercise the right to first refusal, whether this was dealt with by the Slovak Government, whether the minister has any analyses available that would show whether it would be advantageous to use the right of first refusal or not, whether the amount of €35 million is relevant, whether the agreed conditions are advantageous for Slovakia,” stated the ex-premier, adding that the transaction is shrouded in secrecy.

Ziga considers the move by the economy minister to be non-transparent and erroneous. “We ask the prime minister [Igor Matovic (OLaNO)] to scrap the agreement contained in the memorandum and stop the sale. At the same time, we ask the economy minister to publish the analysis based on which he decided that the state would not exercise the right of first refusal, as well as who carried out this analysis, who assessed the stake, to explain why the state is voluntarily waiving the right of first refusal and what the impact of this decision on electricity prices will be,” said Ziga.

According to the former economy minister, the Government has several tools for buying such strategic assets. “It must be said that at the level of the value of that stake, perhaps at the level of €700-800 million, this investment would be returned from the company’s profits within ten years. For example, the state has a 100-percent stake in the so-called SPP mother company, which has a large amount of dividends in its accounts and could use them to purchase such strategic assets. The state has many options for acquiring this stake,” he said.