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Dzurinda and Fico comment on meetings with Penta group

Mikuláš Dzurinda, the chairman of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), said on February 5 that meetings with Jaroslav Haščák, a partner of the Penta private equity group, had been held at the home of Prime Minister Iveta Radičová. The chairman of the opposition Smer party, Robert Fico, drew attention to this but did not answer whether he was ever in the wiretapped apartment described in the so-called Gorilla file, the SITA newswire wrote. Fico repeated only that Smer was an opposition party at the time of the wiretapping.

Mikuláš Dzurinda, the chairman of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), said on February 5 that meetings with Jaroslav Haščák, a partner of the Penta private equity group, had been held at the home of Prime Minister Iveta Radičová. The chairman of the opposition Smer party, Robert Fico, drew attention to this but did not answer whether he was ever in the wiretapped apartment described in the so-called Gorilla file, the SITA newswire wrote. Fico repeated only that Smer was an opposition party at the time of the wiretapping.

"This is a case from 2005 and 2006. We had no influence on anything. Do not want us to make statements that would place us on the same level with those that ruled [the country] then," Fico stated, as quoted by SITA.

The Sme daily wrote in its February 7 issue that Haščák did not conceal that he had talks with Pavol Paška from Smer party, who was a previous speaker of parliament. Haščák confirmed meeting Paška several times, while Paška denied such meetings to Sme.

Sme also wrote that Fico had agreed with these meetings between Paška and Penta at the so-called “conspiracy flat” on Vazovova Street in Bratislava, according to the unverified Gorilla file, and that Fico had promised to arrange a meeting which was supposed to focus on the health-care sector where Penta has been an active investor.

Sme reported that Paška rejected via a SMS sent on February 6 to have met Haščák before the 2006 general election. Sme wrote that Penta did not give a clear response on the question, repeating only that it was normal to meet politicians while doing business.


Source: SITA, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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