People are 2.5 times more likely to trust Hlávková, the former employee of the Foreign Ministry, than the ministry, led by Miroslav Lajčák, a survey of the Focus polling agency for the Transparency Slovensko International (TIS) published on April 21 found. Hlávková’s version of events is trustworthy for 44 percent of people who remember the case, known as Evka (after the agency which profited most from state orders). Lajčák and his ministry are trustworthy and truthful for 18 percent of respondents, the SITA newswire wrote.
The remaining 38 percent were not able to say who is right in the dispute, according to the poll made by Focus on 1,006 citizens between April 4 and 9, head of TIS Gabriel Šípoš informed SITA.
Of those who remmber the case and the surrounding scandal, more Slovaks trust Hlávková than Lajčák in all age ctaegories, except for those over 65 – where the trust in the minister slightly rises. Among youths under 24 – a total of 38 respondents – not a single person believed Lajčák’s version. Also, Hlávková has more trust among those with higher education, among the Hungarian minority, and among inhabitants of bigger cities. Except of Smer and SNS (both coalition partners) voters, Hlávková has been more trustworthy for all those who elected a parliamentary political party. However, Lajčák has only 50-percent trust even among the Smer voters – the party which nominated him. In total, 47 percent of Sme voter believe him; 41 percent cannot say who is right, and 12 percent believe Hlávková.
Half of Slovakia’s population noticed the scandal, according to the poll. The arguments most frequently mentioned for believing in Hlávková are that she had no reason to lie and that her version is more probable, as she presented facts, unlike the ministry. The people who trust the minister mentioned general trust in Lajčák and his fairness and responsibility, as well as the suspicion that Hlávková wanted revenge in trying to discredit her former employer.
Zuzana Hlávková pointed publicly to overpriced orders and the fictitious tender five months ago, in cooperation with Transparency International Slovensko. Later, two more former ministry employees – Pavol Szalai a Juraj Zelinka – confirmed her story about the frauds. The Supreme Audit Office, Anti-trust Office, Public Procurement Office and police all launched investigation of the practices at the initiative of TIS but no results have been published so far, according to SITA.