MICROSOFT Word has to be pretty high on Smer’s list of most feared political opponents. In 2009 a look into the properties of a government document on the sale of emissions quotas revealed that it was prepared by Norbert Havalec – the same person who later bought them in what was one of the biggest scandals of Robert Fico’s first stint as prime minister.
In 2010 the text editor showed that a construction ministry official made 76 changes in an analysis on PPP projects planned to finance new highways before submitting it for government approval, making the option look incredibly tempting. Luckily, it became obvious that the numbers didn’t add up before Smer indebted the country for generations.
And now, it appears that an analysis on the advantages of taking over the SPP gas company, submitted by the Economy Ministry, was in fact drafted on a computer licensed to the J&T investment group.
What does all this say about the ruling party? Firstly, it shows that unlike most left-wing parties, they are not at war with big business. On the contrary, they let them write legislation.
Secondly, their voters seem to be completely immune to what they do. None of the past scandals has had any effect on Smer’s results in the polls.
And thirdly, the computer trouble illustrates why many in Smer feel a strong nostalgia for the past – who wouldn’t miss the beautiful old days of socialist ideals, one party rule, and the typewriter?
12. Sep 2013 at 0:00 | Lukáš Fila