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Malacky vaccine facility draws criticism

UP TO €880,000 might have been spent improperly on building a factory for the production of vaccines against pandemics that was originally to be built in Šarišské Michaľany in eastern Slovakia and was later moved to Malacky near Bratislava.

UP TO €880,000 might have been spent improperly on building a factory for the production of vaccines against pandemics that was originally to be built in Šarišské Michaľany in eastern Slovakia and was later moved to Malacky near Bratislava.

The decision to move the site resulted in increasing the price of the project by €426,000 said Kajetán Kičura, the head of the State Material Reserves Administration (SŠHR), at a press conference on June 19, as reported by the SITA newswire.

The investment at the moment totals about €10.7 million, Kičura said.

“We want to file a criminal complaint so that the use of the state’s finances in the entire project is investigated,” Kičura said, as quoted by SITA, adding that he suspects the previous SŠHR management that approved the construction in the Malacky industrial park violated its duties in the administration of public funds.

“Moving the location of the construction can be considered ungrounded and without purpose,” he stated, adding that the state paid €426,000 for the land in Malacky while the Imuna Pharm company in Šarišské Michaľany was willing to sell its land to the state for a symbolic single euro.

Prime Minister Robert Fico earlier said that he wants the construction work to continue but said there is a possibility it might be suspended because first the state must find a firm through public procurement to operate the facility. The future operator must be able to guarantee that it can produce 5 million vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic, according to the prime minister.

Construction work will continue at the moment but at the same time the SŠHR will be seeking answers to two fundamental questions: who will operate the vaccine facility and what needs to be done about an environmental impact assessment, since none was not completed before construction started.

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