news 05 Sep 12

Kosovo Unions Ally Against Post and Telecom Sale

Twenty-seven organizations have called on the government of Kosovo to stop the privatization of the Post and Telecom company, PTK.

Fatmir Aliu

Kosovo trade unions are calling on the authorities to stop the planned privatizations of the Post and Telecommunications of Kosovo, PTK, and the Trepca mines.

Twenty-seven organizations united to oppose the sales on Tuesday at discussions held under the chairmanship of the Alliance of Independent Unions of Kosovo, BSPK.

“We urge an immediate halt to the privatization of PTK, the Kosovo Power Company, KEK, distribution network and the liquidation of Trepca.

"At the same time we call on all citizens, especially the employees of those enterprises, to show solidarity in protecting our common resources, which are about to be stolen,” the meeting said.

The BSPK issued its call on the same day that the Procurement Overview Body gave a green light to the government to proceed further with its plans.

Five companies have qualified for the next round of the competition to buy the government's 75 per cent of shares in PTK.

These are Albright Capital Management LLC, in cooperation with Portugal Telecom; Columbia Capital in consortium with ACP Axos Capital Gmbh, which cooperate with British Telecom – Poland; M1 International Limited; Turkcell and; Twelve Hornbeams in consortium with Avicenna Capital LLC, which cooperate with Sofrecom (part of France Telecom).

The alliance of organizations opposed to the sales blames privatizations for massive job losses and for the poor economic situation in general on the ground.

The BSPK claims that the process of selling off former socially owned enterprises has “de-industrialized” Kosovo.

“The public property of PTK, KEK and Trepca needs to remain untouched if the country is to get out of this deep crisis. Their economic development is a condition and an opportunity for overall economical and social development,” the BSPK said.

As the government tries for a fourth year in a row to sell the shares it holds in the PTK, it is also encountering objections from the opposition Self-Determination Movement.

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