Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Deputy minister’s subsidies frozen

STATE subsidies for Deputy Agriculture Minister Marián Zahumenský’s tobacco firm have been stopped by Prime Minister Robert Fico while the government waits for European Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel to give an opinion on the case.

The commissioner’s spokesman, Michael Mann, said that while “ it is not the job of the commission to solve national questions on subsidies”, the commissioner would study the letter it received from Fico and issue a reply.

Meanwhile, the three parties of the political opposition criticized Fico for turning to Brussels rather than immediately firing Zahumenský.

A change to the subsidy rules prepared by Zahumenský after taking office in July meant that his Agrocontract Mikuláš firm received Sk4.4 million more in state subsidies. However, Zahumenský has said he was only correcting an illegal change to the rules by former minister Zsolt Simon of the opposition SMK party, who had wanted to punish him (Zahumenský), then the shadow agriculture minister for the Smer party.

Zahumenský also said he was selling Agrocontract, and that “this will not be a merely formal sale to relatives, like when Simon sold his company to his mother”.

Many agriculture ministers and officials around the EU have owned agricultural businesses, according to the Pravda daily, which have received subsidies legally under the Union’s rules for the payments.

Top stories

Famous books on totalitarianism popular in Slovakia too

Internet bookstores have recorded an increased interest in books exploring totalitarian regimes, including demanding theoretical works.

George Orwell in Slovak bookstores

It takes nuts to help Kenyans

Slovakia has provided more than €10 million to the Kenyan people since 2005.

Muruku slum in Naorobi

Lack of experts challenges ICT sector

To maintain the competitiveness, the Slovak government must support digitising the economy and take a positive stance towards the ICT sector, according to experts.

Illustrative stock photo

Our exit from the EU will not weaken our links

The UK has no intention of undermining the stability of the EU, nor do we want to become more distant to our European neighbours, including those here in Slovakia, the ambassador writes.

Flags displayed on a tourist stall, backdropped by the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower containing the bell know as Big Ben, in London.