Jahnátek dismisses reports of nepotism at Agriculture Ministry

AGRICULTURE Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek considers the Sme daily’s report over eight high-level positions at his ministry being held by relatives and neighbours of his in the Komajtice municipality to be part of a campaign aimed at discrediting him. He told the press on September 30 that this was an attempt by retail chains, angered by his fight against low-quality food, to strike back.

AGRICULTURE Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek considers the Sme daily’s report over eight high-level positions at his ministry being held by relatives and neighbours of his in the Komajtice municipality to be part of a campaign aimed at discrediting him. He told the press on September 30 that this was an attempt by retail chains, angered by his fight against low-quality food, to strike back.

When asked to specify which retail chains he was referring to, Janhátek responded that “the names of people and the associations know those who should know it”. He added that the details are in “a file” that he has in his possession, Sme reported.

Prime Minister Robert Fico supported Jahnátek’s interpretation, Sme wrote.

Sme broke the story in mid-September, reporting that his sister’s children, Lukáš Peško and Petra Bohunová, were employed at managerial positions at the ministry Jahnátek oversees. The ministry’s phonebook, which the ministry meanwhile withdrew from its website, suggests that even more people close to the minister work there.

The ministry is staying tight-lipped about how many people applied for the ministry’s job positions, Sme wrote.

Sme voiced suspicion of nepotism in connection with Jahnátek after it revealed that several people from his native village of Komjatice, which has a population of just 4,000, hold high positions at the Agriculture Ministry.

Head of the parliamentary committee for incompatibility of functions, Miroslav Beblavý of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), says that Jahnátek should explain whether he has not found himself in a conflict of interest over these relatives and compatriots. Yet, Jahnátek responded that he has nothing to explain, according to Sme.

Source: Sme

For more information about this story please see: Agriculture Minister accused of nepotism

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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