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Ftáčnik criticised for taking paid position at private insurance company

Bratislava mayor Milan Ftáčnik should explain at once his decision to take a paid position on the supervisory board of Komunálna Poisťovňa, a private insurance company, Ivo Nesrovnal, the head of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and Most-Híd caucus on Bratislava City Council, said on Thursday, July 18.

Bratislava mayor Milan Ftáčnik should explain at once his decision to take a paid position on the supervisory board of Komunálna Poisťovňa, a private insurance company, Ivo Nesrovnal, the head of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and Most-Híd caucus on Bratislava City Council, said on Thursday, July 18.

Nesrovnal said that objected to the fact that Ftáčnik sat on the company's supervisory board for more than a year and received thousands of euros in payments for it. "The mayor has been violating the constitutional law governing protection of the public interest, plus he's been lying about this infraction, misleading the public and covering up income from this activity. He made it to his current post [as mayor] by constantly repeating the word 'transparency', and we can now see through this transparency," the councillor said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Ftáčnik receives a generous salary as the mayor of Bratislava and is also paid for being a member of the Bratislava (BSK) regional assembly and for lecturing at a university, Nesrovnal added. He said that the caucus that he chairs will seek to call of a session of the city's mandate commission to discuss the case. The city council, probably in September, should then discuss a potential penalty for Ftáčnik.

The Sme daily reported yesterday (July 18) that Ftáčnik had received over €10,000 in payments from the insurance company over the past 15 months.

The head of the mayor's office Ľubomír Andrassy – who was himself recently reported to have received thousands of euros as an adviser to the education minister, on top of his salary at the mayor's office – said that the mayor wasn't aware of the fact that his position at the insurance company contravened a constitutional law. "As soon as he learnt about it in early June, he had it double-checked, gave up his membership [on the supervisory board] and returned the money," said Andrassy. While conceding that ignorance of the law is no excuse, he insisted that Ftáčnik did not knowingly break the law. "He never covered up his being a member of the supervisory board ... the crucial thing is that he gave up his membership and always made it clear publicly that he was a member of the supervisory board," said Andrassy, stating that there is no reason for Ftáčnik to resign as mayor.

Sme reported today (July 19) that Jozef Dvonč, the mayor of Nitra and former head of the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS), also sat on the same board at the same insurer. Dvonč told Sme that he too had now left the board. Both officials could be punished by city representatives by the withdrawal of up to six months’ salary.

Sources: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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