Agriculture Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek has filed a criminal motion against an unknown perpetrator alleging fraud connected with the food assistance programme of the previous government. "All the facts we have found point to a grave suspicion of fraud in handling flour and pasta," Prime Minister Robert Fico told a news conference on Wednesday, May 16.
The most suspicious aspect to the case, according to Fico, is an annex to a contract with the Euromills consortium signed after the collapse of the government of Iveta Radičová. Euromills was originally supposed to produce flour and pasta for distribution as food aid for the socially dependent. Fico stated, as quoted by the SITA newswire, that the annex widened the number of warehouses where the aid was to be supplied and redefined storage sites operated by companies in the consortium as distribution warehouses. Based on the annex, the Agricultural Payment Agency (PPA) was to check the produced foodstuffs in warehouses in the period from February 27 to March 9, but he said no inspection took place. According to the annex that includes a clause about missing deliveries, if the agency did not take the foodstuffs by the end of February they would be considered delivered. The ministry currently does not know whether 3,500 tonnes of flour and pasta were produced or not.
Jahnátek has blamed the situation on his predecessor, Zsolt Simon (Most-Híd), arguing that it was the PPA director, Simon's nominee, who signed the annex and who for unknown reasons did not take delivery of the foodstuffs.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
17. May 2012 at 10:00