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Opposition submits no-confidence motion against Finance Minister

The opposition has introduced a no-confidence motion against Finance Minister Ján Počiatek, which Parliament will vote on at an extraordinary session on June 25.

The opposition has introduced a no-confidence motion against Finance Minister Ján Počiatek, which Parliament will vote on at an extraordinary session on June 25.

At least 76 MPs are needed to dismiss a cabinet member. The three opposition parties have 58 MPs.

The parties cite Počiatek’s meeting in Monaco with representatives of the J&T financial group days before the revaluation of the Slovak crown's central parity to the euro as the reason for the no-confidence vote.

"The situation is serious because a narrow circle of people had this confidential information at their disposal," reads the motion.

National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) Governor Ivan Šramko confirmed to members of the parliamentary finance committee that several hours before the central parity was revalued from 35.4424 SKK/EUR to 30.126 SKK/EUR on May 28, $1.2 billion worth of transactions were carried out on the Slovak foreign exchange market. The opposition alleges that J&T profited from these transactions due to advance knowledge of the revaluation.

The opposition is also pointing out contacts the ruling Smer party, which nominated Počiatek, has with some prominent business leaders.

Počiatek offered to resign over the scandal, but Prime Minister Robert Fico refused to accept it.

"Slovakia was officially accepted as a new Eurozone member at the European Council summit,” he said. “If what the opposition claims had happened, the European institutions would have criticised it. But on the contrary, Slovakia was praised for its decisions in the social, fiscal, and economic sphere.” SITA

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