Peter Hurtík, who during the first Fico government signed a deal to sell carbon dioxide emissions quotas for one half or one quarter of their real market price and as a result was sacked last year, was last month re-appointed to head the state-owned Trnava district heating company, the TASR newswire reported. He has since resigned.
Hurtík originally came to the company during the second government of Mikuláš Dzurinda as the nominee of the now-defunct Alliance of the New Citizen (ANO) party, and continued during the first Fico government when management nominations to the heating company in Trnava were controlled by the Slovak National Party (SNS); he was forced to leave during the centre-right government of Iveta Radičová.
This week, police will start prosecuting Hurtík in connection with the sale of excess carbon dioxide emissions quotas between 2008 and 2010. The quotas were sold first to the Bratislava-based company WMJ, which then sold them on to Czech energy giant ČEZ. Police accuse Hurtík of not having protected the public interest, not taken into account available information and sold the emissions below their market price.
On Thursday, July 12, Hurtík, who in June beat 25 other applicants for the Trnava job, decided to resign after just two weeks. He told the Sme daily he was quitting in order to absolve himself and added that he had not harmed the company. According to police, together with his colleague Ivan Gabriel, he caused the heating company financial damage of more than Sk1 million (about €33,000). Hurtík claims not to remember the details. The heating company’s owner, the National Property Fund (FNM), said it intends to comment on his resignation next week, at which point it should also decide the fate of Gabriel, who remains an employee.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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