THE SMEAR campaign waged against Agriculture Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek regarding nepotism at the ministry has been orchestrated by at least four grocery retail chains that have used the services of a professional organisation to do so, Jahnátek said on TA3 news channel's show 'V politike' (In Politics) on October 6.
When asked who, specifically, is behind the smear campaign and why he has not filed a criminal complaint, Jahnátek replied: “Names of individuals involved, names of organisations involved, have been submitted to the relevant institutions. It's not the end of the day yet,” as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Jahnátek has dismissed recent stories in the media about nepotism at the Agriculture Ministry, claiming they are revenge by supermarkets unhappy with the ministry’s rules with respect to the often substandard quality of food they supply to Slovakia.
Jahnátek allegedly first heard about this campaign against him three weeks before the first stories were broken by the media.
“Before this, there was an endless amount of talk with retail chains aimed at pressuring us into cancelling the Retail Chains Act and lifting the fines. When I rejected [this], a second phase was launched. Politicians, diplomats. Enormous pressure. Dozens of talks. Mainly they had an interest in getting me to leave the grocery retailers alone,” said Jahnátek.
Former agriculture minister and Most-Hid MP Zsolt Simon, also present, disagreed.
“Employing family relatives is one thing and the fight against retail chains another,” he said as quoted by TASR. “If you hadn't hired these people at the ministry, there would have been no issue to besmirch your reputation with.”
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.
7. Oct 2013 at 14:00