PRIME Minister Robert Fico is backing the idea of Parliamentary Chairman and his Smer party vice-chairman Pavol Paška to move the ombudsman's office from Bratislava to Košice.
"That's a rational idea that needs to be discussed instead of people getting all emotional about it, holding press conferences and levelling accusations against the parliamentary chairman," Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, while attending the opening of a new departure terminal at the Poprad Airport on January 31.
Fico’s statement came in reaction to Paška’s announcement from the day before that he would submit a legislative proposal to move the ombudswoman to Košice in March.
Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová
who recently fell out with the government over the June 2013 police raid in the Roma settlement of Moldava nad Bodvou, said she considers the move to be punishment for the good work she is doing.
Fico argued that in eastern Slovakia Dubovcová would be closer to the marginalised Roma that are of so much interest to her work.
“I don’t get all the fuss about it from Mrs Dubovcová,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR, adding that if she believes she can resolve Slovakia’s problems from a desk in Bratislava, “she is grossly mistaken”.
Dubovcová responded that she has been proposing to have branches of her office opened in each region ever since she assumed the post.
"If the philosophy presented by the parliamentary chairman and prime minister holds true ... it should also be appropriate to move the government, or at least certain ministries, for example, the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry," said Dubovcová, as quoted by TASR. “They'd be closer to problems that have been pointed to by the public ombudswoman, so they'd be able resolve them.”
Dubovcová has served as an ombudswoman since March 2012. A judge by profession, she gave up her job to run in the parliamentary elections in 2010 on the slate of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ). She briefly served as an MP after the elections.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.
3. Feb 2014 at 14:00