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Slovak cabinet backs Construction Minister Štefanov

The government cabinet sees no reason to replace Construction and Regional Development Minister Igor Štefanov for mistakes that accompanied the so-called bulletin-board tender. The cabinet shared the opinion of Prime Minister Robert Fico that Štefanov did not cause any damage to the state and expressed support to the minister before the extraordinary parliamentary session scheduled for the afternoon of October 28 at which time the opposition will try pass a no-confidence vote in the minister nominated by the Slovak National Party. However, opposition parties have a little chance for success, the SITA newswire wrote.

The government cabinet sees no reason to replace Construction and Regional Development Minister Igor Štefanov for mistakes that accompanied the so-called bulletin-board tender. The cabinet shared the opinion of Prime Minister Robert Fico that Štefanov did not cause any damage to the state and expressed support to the minister before the extraordinary parliamentary session scheduled for the afternoon of October 28 at which time the opposition will try pass a no-confidence vote in the minister nominated by the Slovak National Party. However, opposition parties have a little chance for success, the SITA newswire wrote.

“MPs who submitted the proposal for the no-confidence motion claim that Štefanov signed invoices issued by the consortium [that won the tender]. Invoices to be paid by the Construction and Regional Development Ministry are drawn up by a specific supplier, whose authorised representative signs the invoice. Štefanov did not file any invoice to the Construction and Regional Development Ministry, including any invoices by companies clustered in the supplier consortium; i.e., he did not sign any invoice submitted by the consortium. Thus, claims of the MPs that filed the proposal for the no-confidence vote are false,” reads the statement by Fico, which the Cabinet members endorsed.

The PM claims that the final protocol from the second audit carried out at the ministry by the Public Procurement Office showed no violations of the Public Procurement Act in relation to the bulletin-board tender. Marian Janušek was forced to leave the ministerial post due to the controversial tender, the costs of which will not be reimbursed by the European Commission because of its non-transparency. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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