Opposition Wants Extraordinary Session of Foreign Affairs Committee

Independent MP Miroslav Beblavy (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 22 (TASR) – Five Opposition MPs – Miroslav Beblavy (Independent), Juraj Droba, Peter Osusky (both Freedom and Solidarity/SaS), Adriana Pcolinska (We Are Family) and Zsolt Simon (Independent) – have filed a motion to convene an extraordinary session of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, TASR learnt on Tuesday.

At the session, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak should provide answers to all questions regarding the financing of events linked to Slovakia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, announced Beblavy on a social network.

Committee chair Frantisek Sebej (Most-Hid) is thus obliged to convene the session within seven days in order to inquire into the “governance of public resources with respect to the case of cultural events organised by the Foreign Affairs Ministry as part of the Slovak Council of the EU Presidency”.

Beblavy pointed out that the public learnt about the experiences of a former ministry employee on November 20. “We hold that minister Lajcak as an individual directly involved in the entire case has failed to elucidate properly a number of important issues. We’re interested in asking him about the specific contract that Zuzana Tapakova had during her tenure at the Foreign Ministry and, if such a contract really existed, about what specific role she played in the process of organising events linked to the presidency and in what specific capacity she served at the ministry,” said Beblavy.

The lawmakers also want to know why the Foreign Affairs Ministry chose Tapakova as the organiser of these events, how she was remunerated and whether she was directly endorsed by Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD). The Opposition also intends to inquire into the selection of Evka Agency and the payments made to artists who performed at the events.

[Former ministry employee Zuzana Hlavkova on Monday accused the ministry of squandering money in relation to several projects, stating that spending went up after Tapakova began working at the ministry’s communications and presentation department in the autumn of 2015. – ed. note]