The Slovak government dismissed Milan Vetrák as the head of the Office for Slovaks Living Abroad (ÚSŽZ) on May 9 and replaced him with Igor Furdík, who will take up his new post immediately, the TASR newswire reported. Vetrák was appointed by Iveta Radičová's former government in February 2011.
A Government Office press statement said the reason for replacing Vetrák was his poor performance and a lack of confidence expressed by organisations of Slovaks living abroad about his leadership.
"Aimed at preventing further damage relating to Mr. Vetrák's activities in the job, the government has made the decision to fill the post with a competent person who will be fully accepted by associations of Slovaks living abroad," the TASR newswire wrote, quoting the Government Office statement.
Former ÚSŽZ chair Vilma Prívarová, who held the post before Vetrák, will soon be appointed as ÚSŽZ vice-chair, the statement also said.
Problems surrounding the funding of the so-called Slovak House in the Hungarian village of Mlynky (Pilisszentkereszt in Hungarian) apparently will not be resolved this week due to the dismissal of Milan Vetrák, TASR wrote. According to ÚSŽZ spokesman Tomáš Šarluška, the signing of a treaty with Hungary on the issue has been postponed until a yet-unknown date. The treaty was supposed to resolve a dispute caused by the weakening of the Hungarian forint against the euro.
Slovakia and Hungary in the past agreed to provide the same amount of funding to the Slovak House. While Slovakia set aside €492,000 for the project, the Hungarians agreed to fund around 126 million forints that represents only €440,000 at current exchange rates. The proposed treaty states that Hungary should provide almost €14,000 per year to the Slovak House for a period of three years as additional compensation.
The centre for ethnic Slovaks in Mlynky is scheduled to open in June but this will depend on the schedules of the prime ministers of Slovakia and Hungary, Robert Fico and Viktor Orbán.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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