Inter-party talks in the week ending 19 August have produced a compromise model for privatisation which will probably be approved by parliament in mid-September, according to officials. The government’s privatisation programme has been severely hampered by successful opposition actions in the constitutional court (MEED 12:8:94).

The compromise model worked out during the inter-party talks would lead to the creation of a privatisation undersecretariat responsible to a minister. The government had previously wanted the establishment of a separate privatisation agency. The compromise model also calls for:

the legal framework for privatisation be created by laws passed by parliament rather than decree laws introduced in advance of full legislation. The successful court actions have argued that implementation by decree is unconstitutional and hasty

precautions against the establishment of monopolies or private trusts through privatisation

safeguards for workers’ jobs

the retention of a so-called ‘golden share’ by the government in key industries to protect national interests

prohibiting the use of denationalisation revenues simply to cover budget deficits

leasing as opposed to sale of state assets in certain circumstances

transparency at all stages of the decision-making process.