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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poles Step Up Privatization

WARSAW -- Poland will sell off up to 600 large and medium-size companies in the second phase of its mass privatization scheme starting next year, the official in charge of the program said Monday.

The first stage of the scheme, now involving some 440 companies, will be expanded this year by some 100 firms to enable pensioners and state employees to take part free of charge, Deputy Minister of Privatization Ewa Freyberg said.

"I think the second part of our mass privatization [program], which we plan to launch in 1996, should embrace 500-600 firms," she said.

Poland still has more than 4,000 state-owned enterprises. The private sector generates over 50 percent of gross national product, which grew about 5 percent in 1994.

Under the scheme's first stage, initiated in 1994, the enterprises will be privatized in one move through the transfer of their shares to 15 National Investment Funds. This is due to be completed by the end of April, Freyberg said.