PRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovar media two European companies have reached the final round of bids for 75% of the shares of the publicly owned "Post Telecom Kosovo" – PTK, the main Kosovar operator for tele- phone and mobile phone network services. The competitors are “Hrvatski Telecom” from Croatia, which is owned by “Deutsche Telekom” from Germany, and “Telekom Austria". According to figures of the Kosovo Ministry for Economic Development these bidders together – considering their parent companies – have more than 170 million customers world-wide and a financial turnover of more than 67 billion Euro yearly.
On 1st. of June the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stopped its financial support for Kosovo due to contractual misbehavior: To the dissatisfaction of IMF and EU, Kosovo Prime Minister Thaci increased state wages by about 30 percent, following an election campaign promise. Through the IMF decision Kosovo lost at least 140m Euro for 2011. In addition some EU financial assistance is bound to the now stopped IMF agreement.
Accordingly the Kosovo Government urgently hopes for a successful privatization of its telecom enterprise, in order to limit its budget deficit. However, the estimated 300m Euro for the PTK deal were partially already integrated into the governments budget plan prior to the IMF decision: Experts say, the country is near to a financial collapse.
Parts of the political opposition as well as Workers Unions in Kosovo demonstrated against the privatization plans.