Embattled Minister of Construction and Regional Development Marián Janušek, a nominee of the ruling Slovak National Party (SNS), remains in his post after a meeting of the Coalition Council on Monday, February 2. His position has become shaky because of a controversial Sk3.6 billion (almost €120 million) tender by his ministry was won by a consortium of SNS-friendly companies, Avocat and Zamedia, the SITA newswire wrote.
Prime Minister Robert Fico, however, decided to wait until the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) and the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) come to a conclusion regarding the case. The PM did not want to comment on internal problems at ÚVO. Last week, it leaked to the public that ÚVO head Béla Angyal, a nominee of the opposition Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), had recalled the head of the audit section who had refused to sign an audit protocol because she believed that the found shortcomings were negligible.
Fico insists that the ÚVO head should restore order at his office. He said that nobody was interested in intervening in the ÚVO management, as it was completely in the hands of the opposition.
The PM said that he would dismiss the construction minister if audits show that the law was violated in the public tender. The head of another ruling party ĽS-HZDS, Vladimír Mečiar, insists that the law was breached regarding the contract and he is concerned that the European Union could want to have the money returned.
Mečiar insists that his reservations about the tender, which was announced only on the ministry’s bulletin board, are of a factual character and that he has no personal antagonism. He said he simply does not like the procedure in which the tender was announced, the content of the contract, and how the money will be used, either. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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3. Feb 2009 at 10:00