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Koncoš reveals subsidies list

THE AGRICULTURE Ministry, under Pavol Koncoš, has published a list of firms it gave subsidies to in 2001 and 2000, including the amounts distributed. Koncoš had refused the move last year, in defiance of a government directive, but backed down in December 2001 after public pressure mounted.

The ministry did not reveal subsidies given before 2000, saying they are not in a central registry and cannot easily be collated.

The use of state funds for the agriculture sector was recently studied by the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) corruption watchdog. The Agriculture Ministry distributes over Sk10 billion ($204 million) a year in such money.

The NKÚ discovered several shortcomings, including an administrative building for which the ministry approved funding of Sk2.3 million, but which did not exist.

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