Prime Minister Iveta Radičová has stated that several representatives of the Penta financial group have visited her home in the past but that the visits took place before she occupied a senior public position. She was speaking on Thursday, February 2, in response to claims by opposition Smer party leader Robert Fico that Penta co-owner Jaroslav Haščák had visited her house several times. Haščák features prominently in the so-called Gorilla file, a leaked document which purports to describe potentially corrupt contacts between senior politicians, officials and businesspeople in 2005-6.
"Over the years I have had perhaps more than a thousand guests. I'm glad that different types of people feel comfortable and welcome in my house," said Radičová, a member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ). "Did you know that Mr. Fico hasn't visited me yet?" she added, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Radičová went on say that she views questions about visitors to her home as an intrusion into her privacy. "I wasn't a public figure then ... I won't be dragged into this nastiness. I have my circle of friends and acquaintances ... It's common to communicate with people at a business breakfast or dinner or through invitations from friends."
Talking about contacts maintained during her time as prime minister, Radičová said that it is every prime minister's duty to negotiate with representatives of employers and unions. "And I assume you know that the vice-president of the Republic Union of Employers/RÚZ [Jozef Špirko] is from Penta," she concluded.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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