Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

NEWS IN SHORT

EC unblocks some frozen funds

SLOVAKIA will see more than €100 million in EU funds unblocked from four Operational Programmes, while the volume of resources in the remaining five Operational Programmes that remain frozen represents more than €230 million.

SLOVAKIA will see more than €100 million in EU funds unblocked from four Operational Programmes, while the volume of resources in the remaining five Operational Programmes that remain frozen represents more than €230 million.

The EC will decide over the five blocked programmes after talks with the responsible ministries and further verification processes, the TASR newswire reported on September 24.

In total, the audit body looked into 181 payment requests as part of nine operational programmes. The most frequent shortcomings concerned public tenders, selection of projects and the supervision of expenditures. Based on these findings, the audit body filed nine complaints with the National Criminal Agency, 12 with the Anti-monopoly Office and other institutions, and took action against employees found responsible for any shortcomings, according to TASR.

However, Brussels auditors have acknowledged some of the Finance Ministry’s arguments and will unblock four programmes that it stopped financing. Finance Minister Peter Kažimír considers this to be a success, the Sme daily reported.

“It means that because of the quality of the performed audit, European money will no longer be blocked,” said Kažimír, as quoted by Sme.

Brussels will now unblock Slovakia’s access to resources in Operational Programme (OP) Transport, OP Technical Aid, OP Bratislava Region and OP Cross-border Cooperation, according to TASR.

“Aside from the Transport, only operational programmes of low importance are to be unblocked,” Independent MP Miroslav Beblavý said, as quoted by TASR. “All the crucial and problematic operational programmes remain frozen.”

He added that this continues to pose a tangible threat to the state budget and the process of successful drawing of Eurofunds is also at risk since only 15 months remain until the end of the programming period.

Deputy Prime Minister for Investments Ľubomír Vážny presumes that Slovakia will be able to persuade Brussels to unblock other OPs but it will take some time. He failed to say whether someone will be punished personally for the shortcomings, according to Sme.

Nevertheless, Slovakia will lose €80 million, to correct the previous mistakes.

“The result of the specific audit conducted by the Finance Ministry is an estimated correction to the tune of €80 million,” Kažimír said, as quoted by TASR. “This sum is not definite yet, but represents a framework we will not exceed.”

Top stories

General Prosecutor filed a motion for the dissolution of ĽSNS

The Slovak Supreme Court received a motion to dissolve the extreme right ĽSNS party founded and led by Marian Kotleba.

Jaromír Čižnár

Russian spies allegedly recruit also Slovaks

They are using martial art clubs in Germany and dozens more in other EU states, in the Western Balkans, and in North America.

Illustrative stock photo

EC scrutinises state aid for Jaguar Photo

There is a question whether the scrutiny may impact the carmaker’s plans to invest in Slovakia.

The construction site of a brand new plant of Jaguar Land Rover near Nitra.

GLOBSEC forum will host guests from 70 countries

The 12th year of the conference will be attended by the highest number of participants in its history.

Slovak President Andrej Kiska gives the opening speech of The Globsec 2016 security conference.