The Cabinet decided at its session on August 20 that Environment Ministry State Secretary Dušan Muňko will become the new director of social security provider Sociálna Poisťovňa.
He will replace Ivan Bernátek, who leaves his post as of August 21. Prime Minister Robert Fico ordered the dismissal of Bernátek following an inspection day at Sociálna Poisťovňa earlier in the summer, criticising him for inactivity. He said that in areas where Sociálna Poisťovňa had to do a job, the labour minister had done it.
Two years ago, Muňko was the subject of protests by environmentalists and NGOs who objected to his appointment as Environment Ministry State Secretary. They pointed out that he had been an agent of the communist-era secret police, the ŠtB, and more recently had faced serious legal allegations over illegal breeding of endangered species of exotic parrots.
In 2002, the police searched Muňko’s home. At the time he was director general of Satur, the largest Slovak travel agency. They discovered that he had been breeding 25 protected tropical parrots, including five of an endangered species. He was unable to present documents stating how and when he had obtained the birds. According to Slovak law, any person without identification documents and a certificate granting permission for import or legal purchase of such animals is committing a crime. At the time, Muňko was also an MP and he twice faced demands to have his parliamentary immunity lifted, but his criminal prosecution was eventually halted. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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