Thousands of petition sheets against gambling disappeared

Bratislava Mayor considers leakage a mafia practise.

Gambling house in Bratislava.Gambling house in Bratislava. (Source: Sme)

The Bratislava municipality lacks 3,039 of 8,018 sheets of a petition for a ban on gambling in the capital city that petitioners handed over to the municipality in late June 2016, the TASR newswire reported.

Bratislava Mayor Ivo Nesrovnal confirmed a deficient quantity of sheets during the press briefing on August 18, the day when he received written confirmation from the municipality’s department dealing with petitions.

“I have to say that I am disgusted and horrified by the leakage,” said Nesrovnal in the briefing, as quoted by TASR. “We need to prove the handling of the sheets from the time of their collection to this day.”

If manipulation is confirmed, it will mean a mafia attack against Bratislava, according to Nesrovnal. However, the existing copies of sheets have limited mafia practices, he said.

“Such methods neither terrify nor stop us,” said Nesrovnal. “We will do our utmost to fill the spirit of the petition.”

Nesrovnal pointed out that by now the city has documented 136,139 signatures of Bratislava residents, which is a sufficient amount to continue the preparation of the general binding directive (VZN). Though he did not know the exact number of signatures on the stolen sheets, Peter Šramko, a representative of the petitions committee, said that there are 16 signatures on one sheet, meaning that in total about 48,000 signatures are missing, TASR wrote.

Read also:Stricter approach to gambling refused Read more 

Though Nesrovnal has not taken the initiative to submit a criminal complaint to the General Prosecutor's Office or the police yet, MPs of OĽaNO-NOVA Gábor Grendel and Veronika Remišová decided to do that. The act is more serious as the sheets contain personal information of people who signed the petition, said Remišová.

“It is an attempt to resist efforts to limit gambling houses in Bratislava,” Remišová told TASR.

The disappearance should not restrict the approving process of VZN, contrariwise it should speed up its submission from the municipality, Grendel added.

Mayors and MPs of Bratislava deem it a scandal and have asked Nesrovnal to take personal responsibility and check people at related positions.

The petition for a ban on gambling in Bratislava was launched in May 2015 as a reaction to the fact that the incidence of gambling and the number of gambling houses in the city of has exceeded what some consider an acceptable rate. Bratislava City Council first planned to check the sheets which petitioners had collected until June 2015. After checking them they should be presented to MPs for commenting. The approval process of VZN can then begin, TASR wrote.

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