The government has announced its candidates for the posts of state secretaries (i.e. deputy ministers). The only exception is the Education Ministry whose head, Dušan Čaplovič, has still not chosen a deputy, the Sme daily reported. Ministers in the new government were appointed last week.
Peter Pellegrini and Vasil Hudák are likely to become the state secretaries at the Finance Ministry, while Andrej Holák and František Palko, the current head of the Economic Policy Institute (IHP) think tank, who served as deputy minister at the Finance Ministry during the first Fico government, will become state secretaries at the Transport Ministry.
The government will also nominate Miloš Koterec to the Defence Ministry, Viliam Čislák to the Health Ministry, Stanislav Becík to the Agriculture Ministry, Monika Jankovská, a judge, to the Justice Ministry, Ján Ilavský to the Environment Ministry and Pavol Pavlis to the Economy Ministry.
Ivan Sečík will return as state secretary at the Culture Ministry, the same function he held during the first Fico government.
Compared to the outgoing government there will be more ministries whose agenda will be managed by more than just one state secretary. As well as the Transport and Finance Ministries, the Ministries of Interior, Labour and Foreign Affairs will now get two deputy ministers, Sme wrote.
The posts at the Interior Ministry are likely to be filled by Marián Saloň and Jaroslav Buček, while the government will nominate Branislav Ondruš and Jozef Burian to the posts at the Labour Ministry, and Peter Burian and Peter Javorčík as deputy ministers at the Foreign Ministry, according to Sme.
While some ministers from the previous government, such as former interior minister Daniel Lipšic (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)), commented that there is no need to increase the number of state secretaries, Lucia Nicholsonová (Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)), the former state secretary at the Labour Ministry, welcomed the change saying that though she managed to cope with the work, her former department needs two deputy ministers.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.