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Fico survives no-confidence vote

THE OPPOSITION failed to dismiss Prime Minister Robert Fico over the 2008 carbon-dioxide emissions quota scandal on February 13, the TASR newswire reported.

THE OPPOSITION failed to dismiss Prime Minister Robert Fico over the 2008 carbon-dioxide emissions quota scandal on February 13, the TASR newswire reported.

Only 49 out of 128 MPs present voted for Fico’s dismissal, while 78 voted against it and one MP, Štefan Kuffa from Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) abstained.

The opposition tried to discuss the same issue at a special session of parliament on February 4, but the Smer-dominated parliament rejected the session’s agenda and thus cut it short.

In 2008 the state sold its excess carbon dioxide emissions quotas to a small, unknown firm called Interblue Group, then operating out of a US garage, at €5.05 per ton, a price significantly lower than the market value. The state lost more than €47 million in what is described as one of the biggest scandals of Fico’s first government.

The deal resulted in the dismissal of at least two environment ministers nominated by the Slovak National Party (SNS), as well as the SNS eventually losing political control of the ministry. The firm was subsequently dissolved and was reported to have been re-established as Interblue Group Europe, registered in Switzerland.

Source: TASR

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