Cabinet and financial groups wield most power

THE CABINET and large financial and business groups are those who wield the most power in Slovakia, according to a poll the MVK agency conducted for the daily SME.

The survey found that more than 32 percent of respondents think the cabinet has the most power and almost 26 percent think the same of large financial groups. Only 12 percent of people see political parties and parliament as those with the most power.

Christian Democratic Party MP Pavol Minárik said we have to ask what kind of power is being discussed and that the power of the cabinet and parliament is one. He believes it is natural that large investors have an important influence in the business sphere.

Vice-chairwoman of opposition party Smer, Monika Beňová, is not surprised by the results of the survey: "I also think that the financial groups rule in Slovakia. I am sure about it."

Economy Minister Jirko Malchárek does not consider the survey's results important. He thinks the large amount of media attention given to the financial groups is the reason people think they have a lot of power.

Slovak financial groups started appearing in the 1990s. They earned their first windfalls through coupon privatization. Gradually, they started to trade in equities. Over the last few years they have been active in further privatizations. The Penta Group, the J&T Finance Group and Istrokapitál are among these financial groups.

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