NEWS BRIEFS

Banáš listed as ŠtB informer

MP for the ruling Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Jozef Banáš, is listed in the files of the former communist secret service (ŠtB) by the code names Lotos and Dodo, reported the daily SME.

Banáš, who worked in diplomacy during Communism, admitted having reported to the ŠtB, but insisted that what he communicated did not hurt anyone.

Under Communism, Banáš worked with a press department that was responsible for handling journalists, including those coming from Western Europe.

Austrian journalist Paul Lendvai, who came into contact with Banáš in the 1980s, told SME he was "shocked with the news that a person who used to cooperate with the ŠtB can hold a political post in Slovakia".

"I remember Jozef Banáš very well. Believe me, he was very active indeed and he complicated our work greatly," said Lendvai.

Banáš is the second SDKÚ member listed in the ŠtB files that are now gradually being published by the National Memory Institute. SDKÚ Deputy Construction Minister Ján Hurný, who was listed as an agent, decided last week to resign from his post.

Banáš, however, does not plan on resigning.

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