“I have given the Finance Minister and the Economics Minister the task of presenting proposals on how profits from state-owned companies, which benefit disproportionately in crises, can be skimmed off by law,” Nehammer suggested in the “Tiroler Tageszeitung”.
At the same time, the Chancellor, who wants to be elected ÖVP federal chairman at the ÖVP federal party conference on May 14, pointed out that the partial privatization of companies is now posing problems for the state in the crisis. These statements by Nehammer not only caused reactions from the industry, but also caused the share of the partially state-owned energy company Verbund to slip by almost 13 percent – within minutes 5 billion euros in market value had been destroyed.
The shares of the Lower Austrian electricity supplier EVN also slipped by more than seven percent. The state of Lower Austria is the majority owner of EVN with 51 percent. The OMV share lost 2.8 percent. Österreichische Beteiligungs AG (ÖBAG) has a 31.5 percent stake here.
The Federation of Industrialists (IV) was also “concerned”. According to the industry representatives, such interventions would damage the location and reduce the investment scope for the expansion of renewable energies. “Even the public consideration of such arbitrary interventions undermines trust in the predictability of the legal framework in Austria and leads to a reluctance to invest,” it said in a press release.
The Chancellor’s Office emphasized to the eXXpress that this proposal was fair and sensible: those who benefit most from crisis situations should also give something back to the citizens.