Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

New law targets shell firms

Anti-corruption advocates argue that new measures don’t go far enough.

Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská(Source: TASR)

A more effective law that would prevent shell companies from earning money from public resources was what the junior coalition members Most-Híd and Sieť set out as their condition for entering the government with Smer and the Slovak National Party (SNS).

Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská of Most-Híd pledged to prepare the law within the first 100 days of the government. That deadline passed on July 1, and the law, officially known as the law on the register of partners of public sector, made it to the interdepartmental review on that day.

Read also:New anti-shell law is a priority

Shell companies have played a role in most of the country’s major corruption scandals and allegations, most recently the Medical Group in 2014 that was involved in the overpriced purchase of a CT device in the Piešťany hospital.

Read also:CT scandal rocks politics

While the ministry pledges the involvement of attorneys and auditors, higher fines, and the threat of being permanently excluded from any business with the state could sufficiently guarantee the law will be more effective than the current legislation, some observers are sceptical and point to ways the proposed provisions could be circumvented or rendered irrelevant.

“The proposal to widen the current register of owners of companies who do business with the state, and doubling the check of data through attorneys or tax advisers is welcomed, but in the Slovak circumstances it is really just a small step in the fight against shell companies,” Transparency International Slovensko non-governmental watchdog commented on the draft law on July 13.

Which are the new elements introduced by the draft amendment? What sanctions does the ministry propose? What is the guarantee that the law will be effective?

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Topic: Corruption & scandals


Top stories

Fallen lines and engine fires: Slovak trains are not without incidents Photo

Slovak rail carrier ZSSK is facing a massive wave of criticism after some recent accidents.

Fire on a train between Šaľa and Galanta.

Rules for hiring foreigners are simpler. For exceptions

Despite positive changes, employers still point to some barriers preventing more effective and simpler recruitment of foreign workers.

Some problems with Foreigners’ Police continue.

For a Decent Slovakia protests to resume on Friday

After a summer break, organisers of the protests that have drawn masses to Slovakia’s streets stated that their – and the citizens’ – demands are far from being met.

For A Decent Slovakia march on June 22, 2018, in Bratislava.

Indentikit picture released in murder case of Ján Kuciak may have bourne fruit

A mason from the village where the murdered journalist and his fiancée were found claims he knows the man from the identikit who is wanted for questioning.

Identikit of the man wanted as a witness in the case of Ján Kuciak murder