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New Construction Minister to meet EC Commissioner over bulletin-board tender

Newly-appointed Slovak Construction and Regional Development Minister Igor Štefanov will meet EU Commissioner for Regional Development Danuta Hubner in the Czech town of Mariánske Lazne on April 23 to discuss the controversial 'bulletin-board tender' conducted by the ministry, reported the TASR newswire.

Newly-appointed Slovak Construction and Regional Development Minister Igor Štefanov will meet EU Commissioner for Regional Development Danuta Hubner in the Czech town of Mariánske Lazne on April 23 to discuss the controversial 'bulletin-board tender' conducted by the ministry, reported the TASR newswire.

“The ministry has already received a letter from the European Commission concerning proceedings initiated against Slovakia due to the bulletin-board tender at the Construction Ministry,” Štefanov confirmed to TASR, adding that the ministry has all relevant information and details on the related tender prepared and is ready to submit them to the EC. “We're ready to send it for investigation by the EC authorities, with whom we'll co-operate,” he said.

Doubts were cast on the tender last year in the media, which pointed out that information about a tender for the provision of assistance in drawing EU funds was posted only on a ministry bulletin board. The then-construction minister Marian Janušek, a Slovak National Party (SNS) nominee, then signed contracts worth €120 million with two companies (Avocat and Zamedia) that are said to be close to SNS party leader Ján Slota.

It has been claimed that the tender was only a cover for direct orders intended for these companies. The resulting controversy led to Janusek's resignation on April 14, with Stefanov replacing him in the post. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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