Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

NEWS IN SHORT

Smer nominee is alleged Scientologist

WHEN Prime Minister Robert Fico spoke about Scientologists before the run-off of the presidential elections as a sect that represents an extraordinary security risk for Slovakia, he allegedly forgot about nominees of his own party, the Sme daily wrote in its April 12 issue, referring to Martin Wiedermann, general director of the Central Securities Depository (CDCP) and chair of its board of directors. Wiedermann also owns the company Shift, which owns several internet domains connected to Scientology, Sme wrote. Scientology became a buzzword in the presidential election campaign.Smer has refused to comment on the issue. The National Property Fund (FNM), which owns the majority share of the CDCP, said it knew about the connection.

WHEN Prime Minister Robert Fico spoke about Scientologists before the run-off of the presidential elections as a sect that represents an extraordinary security risk for Slovakia, he allegedly forgot about nominees of his own party, the Sme daily wrote in its April 12 issue, referring to Martin Wiedermann, general director of the Central Securities Depository (CDCP) and chair of its board of directors. Wiedermann also owns the company Shift, which owns several internet domains connected to Scientology, Sme wrote. Scientology became a buzzword in the presidential election campaign.
Smer has refused to comment on the issue. The National Property Fund (FNM), which owns the majority share of the CDCP, said it knew about the connection.

“The management of the FNM was informed recently that Mr Wiedermann is a sympathiser of Scientology,” the FNM wrote in a statement, as quoted by Sme. The daily reported that he revealed his sympathies between the first and second round of the presidential elections.
The CDCP gathers information about Slovak companies and manages the database of their shareholders, which contains private and personal data, Sme wrote.

The fund will not ask Wiedermann to resign from the function. The Church of Scientology is not prohibited in Slovakia, nor is it listed as a sect, the FNM wrote in a statement, adding that the constitution guarantees the freedom of religion to all citizens, as reported by Sme.

Wiedermann himself does not want to discuss Scientology, telling Sme that these questions have nothing to do with his profession and as such are a private matter. When asked how he can ensure that confidential information from the CDCP will not be leaked to Scientologists, he said he does not work with such data. The FNM confirmed this claim and stressed that he does not need security clearance, Sme wrote on April 15.

During the presidential election campaign, Fico pointed several times to an alleged connection between his main rival, philanthropist Andrej Kiska, and the Church of Scientology. He referred to Kiska’s book, which was published by Ladislav Pavlík, the president of a school named after L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology in the US. Pavlík also wrote a foreword for the book.

It later emerged that Fico’s own government approved state funding for a firm led by a man who openly declared links with Scientology.

Top stories

Famous books on totalitarianism popular in Slovakia too

Internet bookstores have recorded an increased interest in books exploring totalitarian regimes, including demanding theoretical works.

George Orwell in Slovak bookstores

It takes nuts to help Kenyans

Slovakia has provided more than €10 million to the Kenyan people since 2005.

Muruku slum in Naorobi

Lack of experts challenges ICT sector

To maintain the competitiveness, the Slovak government must support digitising the economy and take a positive stance towards the ICT sector, according to experts.

Illustrative stock photo

Our exit from the EU will not weaken our links

The UK has no intention of undermining the stability of the EU, nor do we want to become more distant to our European neighbours, including those here in Slovakia, the ambassador writes.

Flags displayed on a tourist stall, backdropped by the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower containing the bell know as Big Ben, in London.