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Report on responsibility for TEŠ 6 confirmed

Ljubljana, 15 November - The parliamentary inquiry commission into the construction of unit 6 at the Šoštanj thermal power station (TEŠ) adopted a report on public procurement in the EUR 1.4bn project Wednesday, putting the blame on four ministers in the governments of Janez Janša and Borut Pahor and the two prime ministers.

Ljubljana
Matjaž Hanžek, the chair of the parliamentary inquiry into political responsibility for the overblown investment into unit 6 at the TEŠ power station.
Photo: Bor Slana/ STA

The report puts most of the blame on the economy and finance ministers in the first Janša government, Andrej Vizjak and Andrej Bajuk (1943-2011), and the economy and finance ministers in Pahor's cabinet, Matej Lahovnik and Franc Križanič. Janša and Pahor are objectively responsible, the report says.

The content of the intermim report was presented to the press today by the commission's chair Matjaž Hanžek, after the newspaper Dnevnik reported on its conclusions last week.

"It took six years, until 2013, for the National Review Commission to establish that TEŠ and elevn other energy companies are liable to public procurement rules," Hanžek told the press.

He said the argument of those responsible was that TEŠ was had not been on the list of entities liable to the public procurement rules and that the Slovenian translation of the EU directive on the matter was inaccurate. But the inquiry has found the translation to be in order.

According to Hanžek, the first mistake was made during Janša's first government in 2004-2008, when the finance and economy ministries were compiling a list of entities liable to public procurement rules in line with the new EU directive.

The Finance Ministry, led by Bajuk, made the list, but the Economy Ministry led by Vizjak did not agree with it. Hanžek said that Bajuk had done his job at that point.

However, the final version of the document endorsed by the government did not include TEŠ or the other eleven energy companies.

The government then tasked the ministries of finance and economy to obtain an opinion on the matter from the European Commission but they never did. This is why the commission believes late Bajuk was also politically responsible.

The commission believes the next government, led by Pahor, is responsible for not fixing the anomaly. "Križanič did not do his part to amend the decree nor did Lahovnik or Pahor," Hanžek said.

He noted that Lahovnik's successor Darja Radić ordered the dozen companies to obey the rules on public procurement, while Šušteršič, the finance minister in Janša's second government, amended the legislation.

"Vizjak, Lahovnik and Križanič hold direct responsibility for not doing that. Bajuk acted well in the first part of the procedure, then he was out-voted and then he did not do his job."

The final report on TEŠ 6 is expected later this year.

mab/kk/eho
© STA, 2017