Agriculture Minister Zdenka Kramplová was fired in August by her HZDS party, ostensibly because of a Sk900 million tender awarded to Columbex International for an IT system. Columbex supervisory board member Alexej Beljajev at the same time figured in a company that lent the HZDS Sk10 million last year; Kramplová was the party official responsible for certifying the HZDS’ financial reports.
Kramplová, meanwhile, claimed that the real reason for her dismissal was that she refused to award tenders to pre-selected companies. An audit that Kramplová launched into tenders held under her predecessor, Miroslav Jureňa, who is close to HZDS leader Vladimír Mečiar, mysteriously surfaced after her departure, and implicated the ministry in sloppiness, impropriety and outright clientism in public procurement.
Another minister dismissed over the summer in unclear circumstances was Jaroslav Izák of the Slovak National Party (SNS), which like the HZDS is a junior coalition partner. Izák was sacked by Prime Minister Robert Fico for “unethical conduct” in awarding a Sk200,000 subsidy to the mother-in-law of the head of his Environmental Office.
Ján Chrbet was named in Izák’s place on August 8, while Stanislav Bečík replaced Kramplová on August 18.
20. Oct 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by the Spectator staff from press reports