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Suspension of EU funds possible, admits official

SLOVAKIA may indeed face suspension from drawing EU funds, but it is premature to discuss the issue at this point, Deputy Prime Minister for Investments Ľubomír Vážny said on Slovak Radio's political talk show on April 12.

SLOVAKIA may indeed face suspension from drawing EU funds, but it is premature to discuss the issue at this point, Deputy Prime Minister for Investments Ľubomír Vážny said on Slovak Radio's political talk show on April 12.

Speaking in reference to areas that the European Commission has reportedly identified as problematic in Slovakia's drawing of EU funding, Vážny said that "in essence, they are: inefficient pricing, selection procedures and public procurement itself", as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The Hospodárske Noviny daily reported earlier this week that an audit of Slovakia's drawing and spending of EU funds found shortcomings in almost all operational programmes. The errors concerned insufficient checks and discriminatory terms in tenders. As a result, Slovakia may reportedly see its payments from EU funds suspended.

"Slovakia has two months to respond now," said Vážny. He went on to deflect any blame for the issue, as he said that the audit concerns spending in 2012 and the procurements as such had taken place one or two years before that.

As for the reasons for the errors and insufficient drawing of EU funding in general, he said that this is especially due to political processes accompanying the fact that new governments replace the old ones. Red tape is also to blame, he said, but stressed that notable advances have been made in the drawing of EU funding in general.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
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