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Ján Ducký: "Playing with fire"

Ján Ducký was born in 1944 in the western Slovak village of Lehota pod Vtačnikom. When he was one year old, his father was captured by the Gestapo along with his maternal grandfather and uncle and accused of collaborating with the Slovak partisans in the Slovak National Uprising. They were sent to the Mathausen concentration camp, where Ducký's father was killed in May, 1945.
After a difficult and poor childhood, Ducký attended the Economic University in Bratislava, graduating in 1967. He then went to work for the Slovakotex textile firm in Trenčin, becoming Sales Director after some years. From 1983 to 1989, Ducký worked at the Ministry of Industry under the communist regime.
After the fall of communism in December 1989, Ducký was nominated to the post of Minister of Industry by the communist party, a post which he held until June 1990.


Former SPP boss Ján Ducký in happier times. People who knew Ducký closely say he loved to live dangerously.
photo: Vladimír Hák-Profit

Ján Ducký was born in 1944 in the western Slovak village of Lehota pod Vtačnikom. When he was one year old, his father was captured by the Gestapo along with his maternal grandfather and uncle and accused of collaborating with the Slovak partisans in the Slovak National Uprising. They were sent to the Mathausen concentration camp, where Ducký's father was killed in May, 1945.

After a difficult and poor childhood, Ducký attended the Economic University in Bratislava, graduating in 1967. He then went to work for the Slovakotex textile firm in Trenčin, becoming Sales Director after some years. From 1983 to 1989, Ducký worked at the Ministry of Industry under the communist regime.

After the fall of communism in December 1989, Ducký was nominated to the post of Minister of Industry by the communist party, a post which he held until June 1990.

In November 1993, as president of the Slovak Industrial Association, Ducký was made Minister of Economy under Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar. After a brief six month hiatus during which Mečiar was out of power, Ducký resumed his post and served until he was dismissed in August 1996 over illegal shipments of wheat to Hungary. He served as a deputy with Mečiar's HZDS party until his defeat in September 1998 elections.

Ducký was also head of the Supervisory Board of embattled machinery giant DMD Holding since October 1995, and was head of the massive Slovak Gas Industry (SPP) state gas distributor from April 1, 1997 to November 5, 1998. At the time of his death, he was under investigation for financial mismanagement and SPP, while DMD Holding is currently locked in a struggle with the Economy Ministry over a share dispute.

According to Pravda daily reporter Vladimír Jancura, who covered Ducký and SPP regularly, "people who knew him closely said that he was playing with fire. Ján Ducký showed many times since the November 1989 revolution that he was able to enter radioactive areas and emerge with his skin intact."

Compiled from
Slovak press reports.

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