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Cabinet sacks head of privatisation agency

THE CABINET of Iveta Radičová sacked Anna Bubeníková, a nominee of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), from the top post at the National Property Fund (FNM), the state privatisation agency, on January 11. Bubeníková’s dismissal comes after a file purporting to describe an operation codenamed Gorilla conducted by the Slovak Information Service (SIS), the country’s main intelligence agency, in 2005-6 was leaked on the internet. The file states that Bubeníková served as a go-between for Jaroslav Haščák, co-owner of the Penta financial group, and the FNM, where she also worked in 2005.

THE CABINET of Iveta Radičová sacked Anna Bubeníková, a nominee of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), from the top post at the National Property Fund (FNM), the state privatisation agency, on January 11. Bubeníková’s dismissal comes after a file purporting to describe an operation codenamed Gorilla conducted by the Slovak Information Service (SIS), the country’s main intelligence agency, in 2005-6 was leaked on the internet. The file states that Bubeníková served as a go-between for Jaroslav Haščák, co-owner of the Penta financial group, and the FNM, where she also worked in 2005.

Economy Minister Juraj Miškov (a nominee of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)) had requested that Prime Minister Iveta Radičová sack Bubeníková, suggesting that that the Gorilla file contains as yet unconfirmed but nonetheless very serious claims.

Ministers from the governing parties SaS, the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd, as well as Radičová herself (a member of the SDKÚ), called for the sacking of Bubeníková, the TASR newswire reported.

The SDKÚ had previously backed Bubeníková, with SDKÚ-nominated Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš stating on January 10 that Bubeníková still had his trust.

Interior Minister Daniel Lipšič (KDH) said that with suspicions as serious as those that had emerged in Bubeníková’s case, such a person could not remain in such a high state position. However, ministers are not commenting on whether the Gorilla file is authentic and say the cabinet does not have the authority to investigate the case, according to the SITA newswire.

SDKÚ leader Mikuláš Dzurinda described the Bubeníková’s sacking as part of the election campaign. A general election will take place in Slovakia on March 10.

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