Slovak PM ends discussions with Penta over Bratislava hospital
Slovakia's prime minister Peter Pellegrini used bizarrely harsh language to announce that the government would not be pursuing a deal with the financial group Penta over a hospital the company is building on the edge of Bratislava in Bory. He said he had hoped to find a way to solve the problem that the state had been unable to build a new hospital in Bratislava for the past 30 years. "That's one of the reasons I used the opportunity to ask the investor if it would consider stepping back from its activities and allowing the state to take over the project and change it for its own uses," he said.
Eduard Matak, a partner at Penta, said the €110m hospital was a breakthrough for the company for Slovakia and that he saw no reason to sell the project. He added that he was convinced the state is incapable of managing such a hospital project, having been unable to build one for Bratislava in the post-Communism era. Pellegrini called the comments "arrogant" and announced the end of talks. "I'm ending discussions with the men from from Penta," he said. "I want to say that I don't care what Penta does, or doesn't do…The state will go its own way and if Penta thinks it can compete with the state, let it. If they think they can win, then I wish them good luck." Penta is developing an entirely new district in Bory, adding an enormous residential component to the retail that's already been installed there. The hospital will add an important public function to the area that provides both jobs and a valuable amenity.