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Fico claims SPF wanted to make 300 last-minute decisions on land sales; fund denies wrongdoing

The Slovak Land Fund (SPF) planned to make almost 300 last-minute decisions on the rental, sale or restitution of land, Smer chairman Robert Fico claimed after a meeting with President Ivan Gašparovič on Thursday, March 15. According to Fico, he learnt about the plans from members of the SPF supervisory board on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, Fico informed the president, who subsequently contacted outgoing Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) to instruct her put a stop to the ongoing SPF negotiations.

The Slovak Land Fund (SPF) planned to make almost 300 last-minute decisions on the rental, sale or restitution of land, Smer chairman Robert Fico claimed after a meeting with President Ivan Gašparovič on Thursday, March 15. According to Fico, he learnt about the plans from members of the SPF supervisory board on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, Fico informed the president, who subsequently contacted outgoing Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) to instruct her put a stop to the ongoing SPF negotiations.

"It isn't right to have such important economic decisions made at a time when the government is finishing its tenure and a new government is being formed," Fico stressed. The president objected mainly to the low prices involved in the planned transactions. "I found the low prices at which the land earmarked for restitution was to be sold and exchanged quite problematic," said Gašparovič, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The planned transactions were subsequently stopped by Radičová.

However, Gašparovič, Radičová and Fico had been misled about the agenda of Thursday's SPF session, SPF general director Eva Šimková (a nominee of Most-Híd) said the same day, as reported by TASR. "All legal actions - whether it be purchase, restitution or rental contracts - submitted to today's session of the SPF board were drafted in accordance with relevant general regulations and internal fund directives," said Šimková. She added that the number of contracts discussed was appropriate, as the SPF board held deliberations on 219 legal actions in November 2011, 240 in December, 167 in January 2012 and 342 in February. She rejected any suspicion of wrongdoing.

Source: TASR

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

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