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SME support agency robbed of data

THE NEW head of the National Agency for the Development of Small- and Medium-Sized Business, Bystrík Berthoty, said he found the agency in "extreme disorder".

The previous management was sacked because of a suspicious transfer of Sk1.7 billion (€44 million) to a Košice-based private firm, Cassovia Bic. The transfer was one of the reasons that Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda proposed that the Slovak president dismiss former Economy Minister Pavol Rusko, the daily SME wrote.

Berthoty said that the computer of his predecessor, Ludovít Balco, who was dismissed immediately after the scandal broke out, had all important data deleted.

Berthoty assumes that the computer was intentionally damaged. Other computers in the firm were tampered with as well.

Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš, charged with temporarily managing the economy department, also confirmed that the computers at the agency were re-formatted and data lost. Mikloš assumes that the data could have provided background on the suspicious money transfer.

Cassovia bic won a tender for supporting projects of small and medium-sized businesses in heavily unemployed regions. The ruling coalition partners claim that Rusko approved the transfer of the Sk1.7 billion without the approval of the agency's board.

Mikloš ordered an investigation into the money transfer after taking control of the economy ministry.

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

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