The chairperson of the State Material Reserves, Eva Hrinková, who was nominated by the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), resigned on Wednesday, November 2, over a scandal caused by the reserves’ controversially low-priced sale of platinum, Defence Minister Ľubomír Galko (Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)) announced after a government session the same day.
Galko added, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that Hrinková claims that she is innocent, but has decided to resign as it will be easier to defend herself when not in office. Galko, however, said that his party views the case as an example of corruption.
TV Markíza first reported last month that the State Material Reserves had sold 63 kilograms of platinum filters with an admixture of rhodium for €667,000, despite the market price for such materials being almost €2.5 million. The filters were bought by a company called Heneken, which is owned by Michal Hudoba. Hudoba ran for parliament on the SDKÚ slate in the 2006 general election.
The government decided that the State Material Reserves (ŠSHR) must stop sales of property under its management immediately. It also ordered Hrinková to cancel the contract between SSHR and Heneken. The Government Office has launched an investigation into the sale. "But I can say that the upshot of the preliminary inspection undoubtedly led to the decision to dismiss ŠSHR chair [Hrinková], regardless of whether she decided on such a step on her own or not," said Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (SDKÚ).
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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3. Nov 2011 at 10:00