Controversy escalates over sale of platinum filters from state reserves

Slovakia’s State Material Reserves’ Administration (SŠHR) sold 63,000 grams of platinum filters with a rhodium admixture for €667,000 in an electronic auction when the market price of this amount of platinum with rhodium might have been €2,425,000, the TASR newswire reported on October 16.

Slovakia’s State Material Reserves’ Administration (SŠHR) sold 63,000 grams of platinum filters with a rhodium admixture for €667,000 in an electronic auction when the market price of this amount of platinum with rhodium might have been €2,425,000, the TASR newswire reported on October 16.

The platinum filters were bought by Heneken company, according to TASR, and apparently the owner of the company is Michal Hudoba, 27, who ran for parliament in 2006 on the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) slate.

TASR wrote that a representative of Heneken company gave its winning bid just one second before the auction ended but that the company does not consider the purchase price low.

The head of the SŠHR, Eva Hrinková, who was head of the Government Office when Mikuláš Dzurinda was Prime Minister, did not comment.

Heneken company later sent an explanatory statement to the SITA newswire which claimed that the filters were not of the best quality, were oxidised and needed to be chemically cleaned.

The administration of the state material reserves had not, by October 27, explained the sale of the platinum sieves.

SDKÚ chairman Mikuláš Dzurinda denied any involvement by his party though both people involved in the case are close to his party, the Sme daily wrote in its October 28 issue.

Hrinková was not available for comments so it was not clear whether the electronic auction was accessible to all interested bidders and fair, Sme wrote.

Sme reported that Hrinková was appointed to her position by Economy Minister Juraj Miškov (Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)) and can be recalled by any minister. Although SaS chairman Richard Sulík has called the sale "theft" Miškov not taken any action, Sme wrote.

On October 27 Miškov reacted harshly to Dzurinda's claims that the SŠHR came under the remit of the economy ministry, stating that according to the Competencies Act, the State Material Reserves' Administration comes under the remit of the government, not the economy ministry, TASR wrote. Miškov also said that according to the Coalition Agreement, it was SDKÚ that had nominated the director of the SŠHR.

Source: TASR, SITA, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Nationwide testing gained contours

The Defence Ministry reveals details on upcoming testing, removal of the STU rector was far from normal. Take a look at our latest news digest.

President Zuzana Čaputová meeting with scientists and experts on epidemiology, infectology and medicine.

Senate voted STU rector down. Police called to the uni as well

The session of the Academic Senate proposed that Rector Fikar be dismissed.

Miroslav Fikar

Dozens of people die of COVID every day. A drop not expected for at least two weeks

People who would otherwise survive may die of other serious diagnoses due to the epidemic.

Illustrative stock photo

Slovakia orders a curfew and embarks on its COVID experiment

High turnout in testing in four northern districts, decision awaited on extending the project to the nation. Prison for a prominent prosecutor and parliament's speaker injured.

Waiting for the results of COVID tests during the pilot phase of the nationwide testing in the town of Nižná in Orava, northern Slovakia.