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IN SHORT

Failed politicians to lead labour offices

NEW local labour office heads will consist mainly of failed regional politicians who are close to the parties of the ruling coalition.

The government named 40 new labour office heads on January 10, and according to the Pravda daily, 21 of them are local politicians who lost in the municipal elections that took place at the end of last year.

The youngest prospective labour office director is 24-year-old Marián Valentovič of the Smer party, who ran unsuccessfully for local council in Piešťany. Valentovič claims to have worked as the head of a private company. He also gave assurances that he is not related to the Smer-nominated health minister, Ivan Valentovič.

The changes came in line with a new law that makes it possible for the government to fire state bureaucrats without giving specific reasons.

The new law, which took effect January 1, also enables new officials to be nominated by the government and hired without going through job tenders.

The law was submitted to parliament by Smer party MP Robert Madej, who would not comment on the labour office dismissals.

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