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Fico accuses cabinet of seeking privatization commissions

ROBERT FICO, leader of the opposition Smer party, said the cabinet wants to complete the current electoral term to complete the privatization of strategic companies and obtain commissions, through the use of commercial contracts.

The allegation came during a televised discussion with Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda on September 25, the SITA news agency reported.

According to Fico, during the seven years in which Dzurinda has held power, the Slovak cabinet has received privatization proceeds of Sk350 billion (€9 billion), even though the value of the sold assets was much higher. Fico also doubts the effect of this privatization.

PM Dzurinda sharply refuted the "fabrications" of Fico and said that the proceeds were used for revitalization of the banking sector, the start of the old-age pension reform, development programmes, and in particular for the settlement of old debts. Dzurinda said that the cabinet does not want to privatize anything in haste, but to follow a plan.

According to him, the main reason why the ruling coalition wants to finish its electoral term is to follow the principles set by the constitution. He claims that opposition calls for early elections is the equivalent of the ruling coalition asking for an extension to its electoral term. Dzurinda views the current efforts of the opposition as unfair because the most painful reforms took place during the first half of its term.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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