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NEWS BRIEFS

Government clears house at state offices

THE GOVERNMENT replaced the heads of 80 percent of district state offices across the country on September 20.

The civil servants who were fired had been nominated by the former Mikuláš Dzurinda government, the Pravda daily wrote. In Slovakia it is usual for the incumbent administration to fill top posts at state offices with political followers.

According to Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, however, the ruling coalition is not being partisan in its nominations of replacement district office heads.

"At some of these offices we are even looking for non-partisan nominees," he said.

Parliament has already elected new directors of important state offices such as the National Security Bureau, and will also soon be voting on the leadership of economic institutions such as the Anti-Monopoly Bureau and the ÚRSO energy market regulator.

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