In spite of pledges made shortly after the March general election, the Smer party nominees in the National property Fund (FNM) selected through tender two members of the board of the state-owned heating company Bratislavská teplárenská (BAT) (Bratislava Heating Company), Vladimír Raček and Igor Chrapčiak.

Under their term, the heating company bought software for approximately 200 PCs for €9 million – and their successors found no documents confirming any tender, the Sme daily wrote in its Tuesday, August 7, issue. The company also rehired its former economic vice-chair, Ružena Lovasová, who received publicity after the company donated money to a plastic surgeon during her first tenure. Lovasová left the company when the tabloid daily Plus 1 deň started following the case. FNM defends the nominees; Prime Minister Robert Fico argues that the FNM and Economy Ministry bear full responsibility for the nominations. (Shortly after Smer won the March 2012 elections, Prime Minster Robert Fico said his people would be more careful when installing people for top positions).

Economy Ministry spokesman Stanislav Jurikovič, who also spoke for the FNM, announced that Raček and Chrapčiak were picked through tenders, and FNM was unaware of any arguments against them, adding that negative publicity was not reason enough and that no prosecution has been opened against them. The heating company’s spokesperson Jarmila Galandáková told Sme that it was the company’s leadership that brought Lovasová back and not the FNM, but after Plus 1 deň renewed its focus on her, she left again – this time on her own – on August 2.

Smer did not change the rules introduced by the former government regarding installing people to top positions in state companies. However, people like Peter Hurtík who was known for mismanaging the sale of excessive emission quotas, returned to Trnava Heating Company – leaving it only after prosecution was against him began. His colleague who also sold emissions - Ivan Gabriel - still works for the company.

(Source: Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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