A special issue of a magazine called Kališpeciál (Kaliňák Special) has not presented all the data required by law. If it was distributed, the opposition party Ordinary People and Ordinary Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA) would violate the Press Act, said Culture Ministry’s spokesperson Jozef Bednár.
The representatives of the opposition however believe that this is a move to sabotage the distribution of the magazine.
The position taken by the ministry is in response to a press conference held by Opposition MPs Jozef Rajtár of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and Jozef Viskupič of OĽaNO-NOVA in front of the ministry’s building on August 30. They accuse the ministry, led by Marek Maďarič (Smer), of colluding with the obstructions presented by Slovenská Pošta.
The special magazine edition supposedly explains to the public the Ladislav Bašternák tax fraud scandal and its alleged link to Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer).
“A magazine must be registered,” Viskupič said, as quoted by TASR. “It is a duty. It is a fact that we have delivered a registered document in a normal routine way. It is absurd how Slovenská Pošta and the Culture Ministry are acting.”
One of the major barriers to publication appears to be the failure of the ministry to decide upon the application concerning the magazine’s registration even after the return of section director Anton Škreko from holiday on August 30.
Viskupič also described the communication with Škreko’s assistant earlier on the same day. She allegedly told them that her boss was already at work but had not yet dealt with his mail.
Rajtár added that with such actions these institutions “are sabotaging the distribution of two million copies of Kališpeciál on the Bašternák case”. Both Slovenská Pošta and the ministry are acting based on the political order they probably received from the top brass of the ruling party, Smer, he added, as reported by TASR.
The Culture Ministry however rejected the claims.
“The Culture Ministry is not here to solve problems related to the political campaigns of opposition parties OaNO and SaS,” said Bednár, as quoted by TASR.
He also briefly explained in what ways the opposition parties failed to meet the provisions required by the Press Act.
“It’s clear and unmistakable data regarding a magazine’s publisher, date of issue and an international serial standard number (ISSN) that probably has not been assigned,” the spokesperson said.
Slovenská Pošta, is currently waiting for the decision of the ministry in order to decide whether to distribute two million copies to householders nationwide.The ministry is expected to notify the state-run postal operator of its position on August 31, the TASR newswire reported.
31. Aug 2016 at 14:08 | Compiled by Spectator staff