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IN SHORT

ŠtB files cause a stir: Baláž resigns

THE CABINET appointee for expatriate Slovaks, Claude Baláž, whose name appeared in the Bratislava files of the Communist secret police (ŠtB), tendered his resignation March 23.

"For a very short time, from March to December 1989, the ŠtB registered me without my approval and without me knowing about it," Baláž told the SITA news service.

He was registered under the codename "Deos".

The resignation follows hot on the heels of cabinet approval for the appointment of another alleged former ŠtB agent, Dušan Podhorský, as Slovak ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Podhorský is currently the director of the Bureau for Normalization, Standards and Testing. He claims that he did not sign any cooperation agreement with the ŠtB. However, he allegedly became an ŠtB agent in September 1989.

Other prominent names are contained in the Bratislava ŠtB files, published by the National Memory Institute (UPN) on March 18.

Among those registered as having been agents are Slovak Communist Party (KSS) MP Karol Fajnor, Roman Catholic Archbishop Ján Sokol, and General Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (ECAV), Július Filo.

Fajnor is registered under the cover name "Nora" in the ŠtB files. According to the TASR news agency, General Archbishop Filo is registered under the cover names "Správca" or "Julo", and Archbishop Sokol under the cover name "Svätopluk".

Ivan Osuský, Filo's deputy and bishop of the ECAV western district, is also registered as an agent, under the alias "Vilo".

Former hockey-player and the head of ex-President Schuster's PR office Dárius Rusnák is also on the list of ŠtB agents, as well as Eduard Kostolanský, rector of the University of Cyril and Methodius in Trnava and Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP Jozef Banáš.

Listed as an ŠtB cooperator is Otto Berger, chief executive of Prvá slovenská stávková spoločnosť Niké (betting shops), under the alias "Ujo (uncle)".

The ŠtB also kept files on Peter Mihók, long-time head of the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the former chief executive of Ozeta Trenčín's, Štefan Bratko.

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