NEWS BRIEFS

Opposition wants to recall minister

SLOVAKIA's opposition parties believe that they have a good chance of ousting Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek from office, they said after talks on December 1.

"Here we can put our ability to persuade coalition MPs [to support the proposal for Jahnátek's removal] to the test," said Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) Chairman Pavol Hrušovský.

The KDH, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) accuse Jahnátek of approving 'nominations of dubious figures' to state-owned companies, mostly in the energy sector.

"Jahnátek acted immorally by demonstrating his ability to tolerate the economic mafia," said SDKÚ leader and former PM Mikuláš Dzurinda.

The appointment of men two weeks ago to the boards of the Transpetrol oil pipeline administrator who had contacts to Russian companies and the former ŠtB communist secret service caused a storm of criticism from opposition politicians and the media.

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