A four-hour meeting of ruling coalition parties failed to produce a break-though in a government crisis started by ANO party leader Pavol Rusko's allegations that the police had him under surveillance.
The government parties agreed to continue talks next week, and said that Rusko had made no special demands on his coalition partners, nor produced evidence of the claimed police surveillance.
Rusko claims to have a cassette tape recording of an interview he gave to a journalist for the Sme newspaper, in which part of the interview not recorded by the journalist appears - proving, Rusko says, that the tape was recorded by a third party. However, he has refused to turn the tape over to police, saying he does not trust law enforcement authorities.
Rusko also claims that the Interior Ministry investigated a possible meeting between himself and alleged underworld crime boss Mikuláš Černák at the Hubert Hotel in the High Tatras resort over the Christmas break. Rusko has denied meeting Černák.
Political analysts have speculated that the political crisis has roots in ANO's apparent interest in winning the right to appoint its candidates to senior police and secret service posts.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
22. Jan 2003 at 12:51