SaS: Composition of Cabinet Shows It Won’t Fight Corruption

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Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) chairman Richard Sulik (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 24 (TASR) – Representatives of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) think that the redistribution of ministries among the Coalition parties indicates that the fight against corruption and essential changes in the health-care system and education won’t be among the Government’s priorities, TASR learnt on Thursday.

SaS legislators criticised multiple nominations of the governing foursome – Smer-SD, Slovak National Party (SNS), Siet and Most-Hid. SaS leader Richard Sulik and party vice-chairs Jana Kissova, Lubomir Galko and Jozef Mihal described Prime Minister Robert Fico as the epitome of a ‘corruption octopus’ – grown to gigantic proportions during his first two governments (2006-10 and 2012-16).

“Interior Minister Robert Kalinak is reputed to be a guarantor of impunity for the oligarchs and various tunnelling individuals with ties to Smer, while also acting as a scarecrow for honest and courageous police officers,” according to a statement issued by the liberals.

Turning to new Economy Minister Peter Ziga, SaS states that he is “at least politically responsible for the scheming involved in the public procurement in the ferry case.”

SaS goes on to state that the Coalition didn’t manage to make any changes at the post of special prosecutor. Its current holder Dusan Kovacik is the worst thing that has happened in terms of uncovering criminal activities of the so-called white collars.

“The Education Minister is a man that succeeded in damaging his long political career as an official of the Student Loan Fund,” according to SaS. The reference to Peter Plavcan from SNS adds that it’s also questionable what role he played as general director of the education ministry’s section for universities, science and research when private universities in Sladkovicovo and Skalica (both Trnava region) were granted subsidies worth millions.

SaS considers the new composition to be a ‘cynical derision of the public’, which expected radical changes in the fight against corruption and the increase of quality in education and health care after the 2016 general election. “It all points to the fact that Slovakia will face further wasted years in terms of reforms; but profligate when it comes to the tunnelling of public resources,” concluded SaS.