PRIME Minister Robert Fico might halt the construction of a new facility in Malacky that is supposed to produce vaccines in the future because the site did not undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the permit for the construction was illegal, the TASR newswire reported.
During a June 5 press conference Fico said that even though the state has spent €10.7 million so far on the construction, no one knows who will operate the facility after it is finished. The prime minister said that before the government continues with construction work it needs to find an operator for the facility through a public procurement process.
“There is also the alternative to stop the project in Malacky but then there is damage of €10.7 million which someone will have to bear,” Fico stated, as quoted by TASR.
Several questions about construction of the facility were raised in the media. The Trend weekly wrote at the beginning of May that the project – launched by the State Material Reserves Office (SŠHR) – had been relocated from Šarišské Michaľany, which offered land for €1, to Malacky where the price for land was several times higher.
The Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote on June 7 that the relocation might be connected in some way with Igor Kucej, the former treasurer of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).
The daily wrote that the vaccine facility was to have two locations: one in Malacky and the other in the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) complex, and the SAV part was to be constructed by Bau3Mex company owned by Jozef Kopernický, reportedly one of Kucej’s business partners.