Ex-president wants Mečiar-era privatizations overturned

SLOVAKIA's former president, Michal Kováč, has appealed to Slovaks to vote for political parties that support the cancellation of amnesties issued by his old foe, former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, as well as privatization decisions made by his 1994-1998 government.

Using powers that devolved to him after Kováč's term in office ran out in March 1998, Mečiar issued the blanket amnesties to people involved in thwarting a 1997 referendum on NATO membership and in kidnapping Kováč's son, Michal Kováč Jr, in 1995. Much evidence exists implicating the Mečiar government in both crimes, but the amnesties have prevented the cases from being tried.

According to Kováč, the Mečiar government's privatization sales, which often transferred state assets to private ownership for a fraction of their real value, could be cancelled by amending the constitution. The state stands to gain Sk200-220 billion, the SME daily wrote.

Kováč said the ownership stakes could be returned to the National Property Fund state privatization agency, while the current owners would get their money back.

However, legal experts have warned that canceling privatization sales could cause legal disputes. Even the Christian Democratic Movement, which agrees that Mečiar-era privatization was not just and has repeatedly tried to have the amnesties overturned, says that Kováč's plan is unrealistic because it violates the principle of legal certainty.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Jankovská admitted to her relationship with Kočner. She also mentioned Fico

Former state secretary of the Justice Ministry started cooperating with the investigators after months in pre-trial custody for corruption-related crimes.

Monika Jankovská

Pass a Slovak language dictation so you can work with foreigners

The draft migration policy proposal is out. Where does a foreigner find the official, certified list of cultural realities and traditions they are supposed to respect?

Some problems with the Foreigners’ Police continue.

News digest: Former state secretary describes the corruption at courts

Schools will definitely not open on Monday. Coronavirus vaccine could be available starting in mid-December. Slovakia joins campaign to fight violence against women.

The Presidential Palace lit in orange, to support the Orange the world! campaign.