BUSINESS IN SHORT

President dismisses heads of closed ministries

CABINET ministers responsible for the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development are heading out the door as their ministries legally cease to exist as of July 1.

CABINET ministers responsible for the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development are heading out the door as their ministries legally cease to exist as of July 1.

On June 30, President Ivan Gasparovic recalled Environment Minister Jozef Medved and also cancelled the mandate of Jan Mikolaj who was acting head at the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development, the SITA newswire reported.

At the same time the president approved the heads of the ministries which are to take over the duties of the shuttered ministries. For the next few days, Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek will take over the duties for construction and regional development, Vladimir Chovan will become the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Regional Development, Jan Mikolaj will have control of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports and Marek Madaric, who previously was the only the culture minister, will for at least a short time be the Minister of Culture and Tourism.

The end of independent existence of the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development and the Environment Ministry will not result in a reduction of staff numbers, according to delimitation protocols that the individual ministers signed during a cabinet session on June 23. Initially, the outgoing coalition promised that elimination of the two ministries would bring considerable financial savings.

The newly formed centre-right coalition has agreed to resurrect the Environment Ministry as an independent department and plans to transfer a portion of the competencies of the Economy and Construction Ministry to the Transport Ministry. It means that the current arrangement of state institutions is definitively not final at the moment, SITA wrote.

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