The Finance Ministry spent more than €30,000 each year on media training courses for former finance minister Ján Počiatek, ministry state secretary Peter Kazimír, and ministry spokesman Miroslav Šmál between 2007 and 2010, the current Finance Minister, Ivan Mikloš, said on August 12, as reported by TASR.
“It was money that was supposed to improve the qualifications of Finance Ministry employees. Tens of thousands (of euros) were spent on media training courses for three people instead,” Mikloš told TASR. Though he conceded that politicians need to undergo such training, he stated that it should be funded by political parties instead. He stated that the new leadership of the Finance Ministry has found several cases involving what he called dubious spending.
The amount of €14,565 which the Elem Consulting company invoiced for personal media training of the three former senior officials of the Finance Ministry in June this year is appropriate, former minister Počiatek told the SITA newswire.
“Ms. Mižičková was available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with an external agenda which the Finance Ministry has abroad,” Počiatek told SITA. He pointed out that the fee was not for courses or training but rather media consultation.
The Finance Ministry said it decided to use the services of media advisor Ľubica Mižičková to be able to communicate better with journalists on the adoption of the euro. However, Slovakia joined the eurozone in January 2009 and these consultations continued this year. Počiatek stated that “Also this year, there were major issues, such as the European Financial Stability Facility and a loan to Greece; we needed to communicate."
Source: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
13. Aug 2010 at 10:00