Slovak celebrations of Schengen anniversary to cost €120,000

By the time the opposition tries to recall Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák through a no-confidence vote, his ministry will organise a posh, overpriced celebration of Slovakia joining the Schengen Area.

Slovak Interior Minister Robert KaliňákSlovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Source: TASR)

A spectacular show worth about €120,000 is being organised by the Interior Ministry for December 20 and 21, to mark the 10th anniversary of Slovakia becoming part of the Schengen Area. The rental of the rooms in the Slovak National Theatre (SND) alone will cost €30,000.

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The huge amount – which may not even be final – is close to the one paid by the Foreign Ministry for an overpriced programme presenting the logo of Slovakia’s presidency of the Council of European Union. This developed into a scandal when it turned out that apart from the €156,000 published, some more items outside the contract were paid by the ministry, which also tried to keep details secret, the Sme daily reported.

Read also: UPDATED: Antimonopoly Office stops investigation of presidency orders Read more 

The Evka agency that organised the disputed gala-evening was chosen in a non-transparent manner.

What are the snags of the Schengen anniversary?

The Schengen anniversary seems to have hit some similar snags: the Interior Ministry chose the Akran agency to organise the event, which allegedly won out of three bidders. But the two others have not been specified, nor their offers. The ministry claims it evaluated the price and the proposals were the criteria for selection, which were then assessed by a committee.

The agency is meant to prepare the stage, direct and arrange for the entire course of the evening planned for December 20 and 21 in the new SND building and its vicinity.

A recording of the event will be broadcast by the public-service RTVS. People engaged in the preparations of Slovakia's Schengen entry in 2007 will be awarded, Sme wrote. Akran has already cooperated with RTVS several times, on regular as well as special (Christmas) events.

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The specific programme is not yet known, the Interior Ministry told the daily.

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