Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini came before the parliament on April 18 to explain his incomes and property purchases to members of the conflict of interest committee after media reports on his purchasing of a flat in the lucrative part of Bratislava were published. He called the discussion about his property “a pseudo-case”.
However, he failed to persuade enough MPs that he did not violate the constitutional law on public interest protection when serving in a public function. Only seven MPs voted for the resolution claiming he did not violate the law, while six were against and one abstained from the vote.
As a result, the committee will deal with the issue again, the TASR newswire reported.
Property worth more than €610,000
Pellegrini told the MPs that he owns a chalet in Králiky, where his parents live. He bought it in May 2008 for 2.1 million Slovak crowns (about €69,707). Moreover, he owns a three-room flat in Banská Bystrica (80 square metres) and a garage, which he bought in November 2009 for €109,249, including VAT.
“I also own a flat in Bratislava, about which the media informed,” Pellegrini said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, adding that he paid €410,215 for it.
Pellegrini also owns gardens, as well as the arable plots in the cadastral area of Lukavica, covering 11,000 square metres. He bought these plots gradually.
The total value of his property’s amounts to some €613,000, Pellegrini said.
The prime minister provided the information about the incomes he has received since 2006, but stressed that he started earning money in 1998. During the past 12 years, he has earned €432,000, which amounts to €3,000 a month on average.
In 2008, he sold a flat for €71,000, and sold a garage for €6,900 the following year. He received other incomes between 2010 and 2017, which were not stated in his property disclosure, while some were missing in his tax report, too. These were mostly various yields and mutual funds. For seven years, he earned €43,000 this way.
“I also sold a hall that I auctioned in 1999,” Pellegrini continued, as quoted by SITA. “I sold it for €54,770.”
He received a further €67,000 from his family. The prime minister took out a mortgage of €165,000 for his flat in Bratislava, while he has repaid €46,000 for a loan on the chalet.
Pellegrini said that the difference between his expenses and incomes is more than €250,000, as reported by SITA.
His explanation, however, did not persuade chair of the committee, Vladimír Sloboda of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), because he failed to answer how much his property was worth when he started serving in a public function.
Ondrej Dostál of SaS said the whole session was absurd. Nobody submitted a motion to start proceeding, anf they did not examine any resulting doubts, he said, adding that this session was only an attempt to end the public debate on Pellegrini’s property, which did not turn out well since there were not enough MPs to say he did not violate the law, as reported by TASR.
Though Peter Kresák of Most-Híd did not consider it fortunate that the committee was to adopt the resolution claiming that the constitutional law had not been violated, the prime minister managed to persuade him to do so. Smer MP Jozef Burian was satisfied with the explanation too, TASR reported.
18. Apr 2018 at 21:25 | Compiled by Spectator staff