FORMER prime minister Robert Fico, who is now deputy speaker of parliament, has refused to represent parliament before the Constitutional Court in a trial over a law that effectively bans health insurers from making profits, and instead forces them to return any revenues to the health sector.
Speaker of Parliament Richard Sulík asked Fico, who leads the opposition party Smer, to fulfil the role, the SITA newswire reported.
Fico, however, refused the task, and his spokesperson said that he would “welcome if it did not become a habit in the future that he learns about the content of a letter from the speaker of parliament from the media even before it is delivered to him.”
The hearing in the case will take place on January 26. The fact that Fico serves as deputy speaker of parliament and is a lawyer were the reasons Sulík gave for choosing him for the task. Moreover, Sulík will be on an official trip abroad at that time. It was Fico’s government that introduced the law in question; it was passed in 2008.
The Constitutional Court has now opened proceedings in the case to examine the restrictions on the use of health insurers’ profits but the validity of the contested provisions has not been suspended. Slovakia has been involved in three international arbitrations as a result of the disputed law, initiated by foreign stockholders of health insurers Apollo, Dôvera and Union. Fico declared several times that he was looking forward to the arbitrations and that he was 100-percent positive that Slovakia would win the disputes, SITA wrote.
24. Jan 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff