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Dzurinda and Fico continue verbal battle over land

SDKÚ leader Mikuláš Dzurinda has slightly backpedalled from statements he made last week about a plot of land purchased by Prime Minister Robert Fico, the Sme daily wrote on December 3.

On November 30, Dzurinda said Fico made a multi-million crown profit on a vineyard he bought from his neighbour, Anna Cukanová, for a suspiciously low price in 2002. He said the 800-square-metre plot of restituted land, which Fico bought for Sk37,000, has since been zoned as construction land, giving Fico a profit of Sk6 million.

Dzurinda originally said Fico acquired the restituted land in the same way that people close to Vladimír Mečiar and his HZDS party did, when they received plots in Veľký Slavkov. However, Dzurinda was more cautious on December 2, and suggested Fico bought the land because he knew that it would be rezoned as a construction plot.

Fico, however, said that the plot was still registered as a vineyard and that he did not intend to build a house there.

Cukanová bought more plots, including Fico's, in 1997 from a woman who got them in restitutions that year, Sme wrote. The deputy chairman of Fico’s Smer party, Robert Kaliňák, said she sold them to various people for the same price as to Fico.

Cukanová later got involved in activities to change these plots into construction lots, which increased their market value.

Local MPs adopted the new zoning plan in 2007, and SDKÚ deputies were among those who voted in its favour.

-SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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