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Head of Government Office sues daily for alleging he bought cheap apartment from SPP

Head of the Government Office Igor Federič (of the ruling Smer party) is suing the Sme daily over an article claiming that he managed to obtain a flat from the Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) gas utility for a below-market price. Sme wrote on September 15 that Federič bought an upmarket apartment from SPP in the Old Town borough of Bratislava, on Štefánikova Street, close to the Presidential Palace. He admitted, when asked by Sme, to having bought the flat, but refused to state the size and the price, adding only that he bought it when Smer was an opposition party.

Head of the Government Office Igor Federič (of the ruling Smer party) is suing the Sme daily over an article claiming that he managed to obtain a flat from the Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) gas utility for a below-market price. Sme wrote on September 15 that Federič bought an upmarket apartment from SPP in the Old Town borough of Bratislava, on Štefánikova Street, close to the Presidential Palace. He admitted, when asked by Sme, to having bought the flat, but refused to state the size and the price, adding only that he bought it when Smer was an opposition party.

The Government Office wrote on September 16 that Federič bought the apartment in 2004 for an appropriate sum amounting to several million Slovak crowns.

Federič filed a lawsuit over the story, the SITA newswire reported on September 17. The Government Office informed that Federič will prove before a court that he bought the flat for a price set by an expert through a normal transaction during the tenure of the rightist government of former prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda.

Sme wrote about Federič and his SPP flat in connection with the state’s recent move to buy the remaining shares in the SPP mother company. The daily argues that Smer is aware of the advantages of owning big strategic companies and using them for the benefit of its own members and their cronies.

(Source: Sme, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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