Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union party (SDKÚ) will not lose a year's pay – a sanction he was facing for having allegedly promoted a travel agency. The parliamentary committee on Conflicts of Interest failed to arrive at a decision on February 9 and the disciplinary action against Mikloš was suspended, the TASR newswire reported.
Coalition and opposition lawmakers on the committee were unable to jointly rule as to whether Mikloš, as a government official, broke the law when in November two photographs of him appeared in an advertisement for Bubo, a Bratislava-based travel agency. The advertising material featured a caption in which Mikloš is quoted as recommending the agency. Mikloš claims he received no remuneration for this.
In his statement to the committee Mikloš admitted that he wrote the published text for the agency four years ago but was unaware of how it was to be used by the agency. The minister emphasized, as reported by the TASR newswire, that he had never been Bubo's client, and that in his comments he only talked about his wife's good feeling about travelling with the agency. The travel agency also provided its account of what happened, stating that they did not consult with Mikloš prior to publishing the text.
Slovak law prohibits public officials from using their identity, name, face, pictures, voice and signature in any kind of promotional activity. Mikloš actually was a public official four years ago – but as an opposition MP rather than a cabinet minister.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
10. Feb 2011 at 10:00