Palacka goes missing

GABRIEL Palacka, a former transport minister in the first Dzurinda cabinet (1998 - 2002), no longer works for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, and his former political colleagues do not know where he is.

Finance Ministry spokesman Peter Papanek and EBRD employees confirmed that Palacka is no longer employed at the bank, the daily SME wrote. Papanek said that Palacka's contract had been for an indefinite period, and that he did not know why he had left.

Top officials of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), of which Palacka is a member, also said they did not know anything about him.

Palacka was one of the closest colleagues of Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and was responsible for the finances of the SDKÚ. He was also one of the founders of the party. His name later was connected with various scandals such as the scrapping of the tender for a third mobile operator and corruption in the purchase of light trains.

SDKÚ spokesman Martin Maťko said he had no information about Palacka, that he had not seen him at SDKÚ headquarters, and that Palacka no longer works for the party.

After the 2002 elections, Palacka returned to the upper management of the SDKÚ for some time, and also worked for the Finance Ministry. Later he won a competition at the ministry for the post of advisor to the EBRD director for Central Europe in London.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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