The Parliamentary Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Nature Conservation on September 8 voted down a motion by opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP Pavol Frešo to carry out a parliamentary inspection at the Environment Ministry following the contentious sale of emissions quotas and other well-publicised scandals linked to the ministry.
"A parliamentary inspection is not appropriate, as the committee has already adopted a resolution to have the report reworked ... meaning all the objections raised by Frešo concerning the inspection will be covered in the report," said committee chairman Jozef Ďuračka, an MP for the Slovak National Party (SNS). The SNS nominated the previous three environment ministers, all of whom were forced to resign over questionable contracts awarded under their supervision. Ďuračka dismissed Frešo's attempts to launch an inspection as being part of a campaign in the run-up to regional government elections.
Frešo reacted to the news by saying that governing coalition MPs had decided to cover up what he called carbon-dioxide emission racketeering and were refusing to discuss the relevant report drawn up by the Environment Ministry and returned to the ministry for fine-tuning on Tuesday. "Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer) is afraid of having this debate in parliament," Frešo told the TASR newswire. He also criticised the speaker of parliament, Pavol Paška (Smer). He added that the opposition would not give up and said "it will struggle to prevent this matter from being swept under the carpet".
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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