SDKÚ faces funding scandal

PRIME Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) is suspected of manipulating its financial reports by hundreds of thousands of crowns.

The party has listed several people on its list of donors who deny having ever given the party any money, showed findings of the Fair Play Alliance (AFP) watchdog. The AFP rang people on the SDKÚ's list of donors, available of their website.

At a press conference on March 31 the PM insisted that the information in the party's 2000 - 2002 financial reports were true. He dismissed the allegations as unfair, as they were published only a few days before the presidential elections. Police confirmed that they would look into the allegations.

The funding scandal may have revealed a more widespread practice among Slovak political parties.

Zuzana Wienk from AFP said that her organisation checked donors of other parliamentary parties as well and encountered "various curious reactions, but in none of them did people deny outright having donated money," although they sounded unconvincing.

"The main problem is that the SDKÚ did not inform [its alleged donors] that they were on the list," Wienk said.

The SME daily later found that among the SDKÚ's alleged donors was Mária Dominová, a pensioner from Trenčianske Teplice who is listed as having donated Sk230,000 (€5,700). She denied it, saying "where would I get so much money from?”

Also among the donors are people who left the SDKÚ last year to form the Free Forum party in opposition to Dzurinda's political style. Among such members are, for example, Michal Ambrovič, who is listed as having donated Sk5,000 (€124). He denied that donation and even signed a testimony saying that it had never taken place.

SDKÚ treasury Igor Kocej said, "those on the list gave the donations. [Now by denying it] they are lying."

Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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