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Fico to Jureňa: Dismiss Bríza or lose my trust

Prime Minister Robert Fico said on November 12 that he was furious about the deals made by Branislav Bríza, the interim general director of Slovenský Pozemkový Fond (the Slovak Land Fund/SPF), and called on Agriculture Minister Miroslav Jureňa (ĽS-HZDS) to dismiss him immediately.

Fico emphasized his anger by saying that if Jureňa doesn't fire Bríza, he would lose faith in the agriculture minister.

During a news conference in Košice on November 12, former PM Mikuláš Dzurinda issued an ultimatum of his own. He demanded that Fico fire Jureňa, adding that if he doesn’t, the SDKÚ-DS would submit a non-confidence motion against Jureňa at its next session.

According to the Sme daily, GVM, a company close to LS-HZDS leader Mečiar, recently used shady methods to acquire more than 1 million square metres of land in the village of Veľký Slavkov in the High Tatras. The deal was secured by Bríza, the ĽS-HZDS nominee at the SPF, and this is how it allegedly unfolded:

Bríza signed the agreement handing the land back to its former owners, who had regained it in restitution proceedings. The owners then promptly sold the land to GVM for nearly Sk13 million (€391,000), which was a fraction of its true market value - Sk1.5 billion. Sme writes that GVM co-owner Milan Bališ has been seen in public with Mečiar several times.

Jureňa said on November 12 that concerns about SPF shouldn’t be addressed to him, but to the managing body at SPF, the majority of which is controlled by Smer-SD. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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