Weekly: One Blow Follows Another
The ministry sent a message to company Enel that it has no plan to agree to the closure of the privatisation process with Enel now when the sale of its majority stake in the power utility Slovenske Elektrarne is to culminate. Selling the stake without completing the initial sale sounds ridiculous.
It is clear to everyone who knows the difference between electricity and gas that the government will not leave the sale of a 66-percent stake in Slovenske Elektrarne at peace. Italian Enel, which put its majority stake for sale, receives one blow after another from the ruling government. After sending policemen and inspectors from the Supreme Audit Office into Slovenske Elektrarne, taking over the hydropower plant Gabcikovo, forcing Italians to complete nuclear blocks in Mochovce and reconstruct thermal power plants in Novaky for miners, the company suffered another blow from the government last week. The economy ministry let its shareholder colleagues in Slovenske Elektrarne know that it has no plan to agree to the closure of the privatisation process from 2006 with Enel now when the sale of its majority stake in the power utility Slovenske Elektrarne is to culminate. Selling the stake without completing the initial sale thanks to which Italians actually may now sell some assets sounds ridiculous and unprofessional. For now, nobody dares to make a guess about the reaction of potential investors. Italian investor may expect that the price of its stake will decline more even if the sale is eventually carried out successfully. On the other hand, it seems that Italians are in urgent need to run away from Slovakia which could easily surpass their expected profits from the sale of their stake.
We have made several guesses about what the ruling government may want to achieve in this matter. Especially, when the government repeats endlessly that Italians manage Slovenske Elektrarne badly, but on the other hand, they put a spoke in Enel’s wheels during the sale of its stake. It is probably pointless to repeat our assumptions about what may be going on in heads of our Prime Minster and his energy consultants. One thing is certain before the approaching parliamentary elections. The sale or non-sale of the Slovak dominant electricity producer must give the Slovaks the sweet taste of victory in this energy battle at least for some time.
Where has the loss been hidden?
One more information was interesting last week; the results revealed by the gas utility Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel. Surprisingly, even despite all pessimist prognoses, the state-managed company posted a net profit of 289 million euros last year. All opposition politicians and energy „experts” said and still say that the company is loss-making. Where could be that loss? So what the hell is reality? The profit could have been even higher without the political regulation of gas prices for households. In any case, the largest gas supplier generated a profit last year. However, we have to tell the plain truth; the accounting is a beautiful discipline which can do impossible. It allows you to purchase elephants, but report pencils.
Author is editor-in-chief of portal vEnergetike.sk.
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