DEPUTY Agriculture Minister Ján Záhumenský from Smer has decided to take an unpaid leave of absence from his job for an indefinite period of time while a dispute is resolved regarding the EU funding that his company received.
Smer’s top board decided yesterday that the party would also write a letter to the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Mariann Fischer-Boel, who is to make a decision about a similar existing dispute in Slovakia.
Former Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon demanded the recall of Záhumenský, whose tobacco farming company Agrocontract received additional funding of Sk4.4 million after the deputy minister himself changed the existing funding rules.
Záhumenský, as well as Agriculture Minister Miroslav Jureňa, insist that the deputy minister merely eliminated an illegal situation left over by former minister Simon.
Smer says that if the EU commissioner confirms that Záhumenský’s company is entitled to the funding, it will demand an apology from Simon, the Sme daily wrote.