- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Government says it will pay off the biggest debts of the Podgorica Aluminum Plant, KAP, in order to save one of the country’s largest exporters and employers from going under.
The government has announced that it will start negotiations in order to take over the KAP debts, including payment of a 22 million euros in credit given in 2010 by Deutsche Bank.
Otherwise, the government could be forced to declare the company bankrupt.
The burden of the KAP’s survival will thus probably fall on the backs of taxpayers instead on the backs of its own management.
According to Radio Free Europe, most KAP shares were sold in 2005 to an offshore company, Salamon Enterprises, allegedly owned by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, for 48.5 million euros.
Meanwhile, the government, which has remained a part-owner, has spent tens of million of euros on keeping the plant going.
Media reports say the money paid in order to keep industrial giant alive far exceeds its market value.
“International experts, regarding the question of KAP, fear that it is too late for its survival”, Goran Djukanovic, economic analyst, told the Montenegrin portal Analitika recently.
That cost is not measured only in euros. KAP is one of the biggest air polluters in Montenegro and is one of the single biggest users of electricity. Some analysts maintain that Montenegro would have the surfeit of electrical energy if KAP had an alternative source of power to use.
However, the aluminum plant is also among the largest employers in the country and its bankruptcy would pauperize many families.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.