Milan Vetrák, the new chairman of the Office for Slovaks Living Abroad, says he will not be biased against the World Association of Slovaks Living Abroad (SZSZ), although the association protested against him being named for the post.
"What reason do I have to be biased?" asked Vetrák at a press conference on Thursday, February 17, as quoted by the SITA newswire. The new chairman claims he has the support of Slovaks living abroad, as almost 60 foreign associations congratulated him on his appointment, SZSZ members among them. The two institutions have a partnership agreement.
The government office has almost 900 requests for grants amounting to over €3 million, but it is able to assign only €1 million. At the press conference, Vetrák said his disagreements with the SZSZ will not affect how new grants are allocated. However, grants allocated under the previous government are currently being audited and he said that the conclusions of that audit could also affect SZSZ.
Vetrák, who previously worked at the Government Office, was named head of the Office for Slovaks Living Abroad on February 10. The SZSZ asked the government to reverse the decision and re-advertise the job. The SZSZ unites over 100 associations of Slovaks in 24 countries.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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18. Feb 2011 at 10:00