Parties promise less bureaucracy

POLITICAL parties are promising less bureaucracy and a more effective state administration ahead of the general elections.

Analysts note, however, that such plans are part of the traditional pre-election rhetoric in Slovakia.

"We can observe that, over the last 15 years, this [agenda] has been difficult to adopt in reality," Miroslav Šmál, an analyst with Poštová banka, said to the Hospodárske noviny daily.

Vladimír Mečiar, who heads the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), says that Slovakia has more state offices now than in 1998, when he completed his last term in government.

"Two thirds of them could be shut down within 24 hours and no one except the bureaucrats [working there] would notice," he said.

According to HZDS, the state procurement authority ÚVO should be among those offices closed.

The non-parliamentary Slovak National Party (SNS), which stands a good chance of being elected to parliament, even plans to shut down some government ministries, such as culture and construction, and incorporate them into the education and economy ministries, respectively.

The Free Forum wants to merge the environment and agriculture ministries and the Christian Democratic Movement plans to take planning authority away from labor offices and give it to municipal authorities.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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