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: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: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

Annual subscription
29 €
Buy
You save 17.80€ compared with monthly subsription
Quarterly subscription
9.90 €
Buy
You save 1.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Monthly subscription
0.98 €
Buy
Price is only for new subscribers for their first month. All other months are standard price of 3.90 €

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • All exclusive materials published on our web page
  • A PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you (26 issues a year)
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Topic: Corruption & scandals


Top stories

Responsible business no longer concerns only charity

The most common activities in Slovakia include fair-mindedness regarding employees, health and safety at work, and environmental protection.

Volunteers from corporate sector help to improve the environment within the initiative Naše Mesto (Our City).

Sporting events surpass philanthropy dimension

These events inspire an active lifestyle and help to develop philanthropy.

Wings for Life attracted more than 155,000 people.

EU cycling support topped second half

Applicants drew more than half of the funds in the first programme round.

Cycling routes in Bratislava.

Spectacular Slovakia: Anti-Ottoman Bastion on film Video

Štiavnické Bane was the centre of the technical, cultural and religious education of the Austria-Hungary monarchy beginning in the 15th century.