The state is proposing to take €620 million from the budget of municipalities and give it to families as a form of help against rising prices due to inflation.
"A hundred euros for a family is better than a hundred euros in the mayor's money box," said Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) during the presentation of the so-called anti-inflation package.
According to Richard Rybníček, the chair of The Union of Towns in Slovakia (ÚMS) and Trenčín mayor, the Finance Minister insulted the representatives of towns and villages. The money of the residents is used to finance sports, culture, schools, kindergartens and other activities.
"The money does not belong to any mayor and he (Matovič) would take this money from residents in cities," warned Rybníček. The ÚMS chair recommended that the ministry find money in its own reserves and noted that the government had not consulted at all with local authorities.
No discussion, only announcement
When contacted, most of the towns confirmed that they did not agree with financing the anti-inflation package with money designated for local municipalities.
According to Michal Kaliňák, an expert on local government, Igor Matovič's statement was just another of many examples where discussion and negotiation was replaced by an announcement via media.
"In this case, he does not realize how it pushes cities and towns to the abyss," said Michal Kaliňák.