Social companies, a type of enterprise established by the government of Prime Minister Robert Fico which are now being used as part of the state’s anti-crisis measures to combat unemployment, are drowning in cronyism, according to the Slovak Governance Institute (SGI).
At a news conference on August 6, the NGO said its allegations were based on information about public tenders and the prices paid for services provided by social companies. The SGI has asked the Antitrust Office to examine some public procurement procedures, the SITA newswire wrote.
The institute said it believes that the government's anti-crisis measures are ineffective and social companies themselves are an extremely expensive way of creating new jobs. Moreover, the companies face allegations of manipulation and cronyism. According to the institute, the government’s unemployment statistics are also misleading. In June, the unemployment rate was 11.8 percent, or approximately 313,000 people. The institute, however, maintains that the unemployment rate in fact reached fourteen percent, or 370,000 people, in the first sixth months of 2009.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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