Bratislava, April 6 (TASR) – Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) is sorry that the next meeting of the parliamentary conflict of interests committee, which is to deal with his income, will take place as late as in mid-May, he told journalists on Friday, adding that he would be glad if it took place as soon as possible.
“I am ready to come to the committee meeting tomorrow (Saturday, April 7) or Sunday (April 8) if necessary. I’ll accept an invitation even without MPs having to vote on launching the proceedings. The sooner it is, the sooner I’ll be able to show my colleagues that nothing unlawful has happened. I won’t feel comfortable if I cannot concentrate on my work,” said Pellegrini, adding that he is ready to come and inform the committee as soon as its head invites him for a meeting.
Head of the aforementioned committee Vladimir Sloboda (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS), who initiated the meeting about Pellegrini, has told TASR that the committee members will deal in mid-May with the acquisition of Pellegrini’s apartment. The committee’s meeting is scheduled for the second week of the parliamentary session starting on May 9. The committee should thus meet on May 15. “We will be glad if he gives an explanation,” stated Sloboda. He said that the committee will launch proceedings in May and decide whether or not the situation demands documents and an explanation from Pellegrini.
According to information that appeared in the media, Pellegrini shouldn’t have been able to afford to buy his new apartment with his income. However, Pellegrini insists there are no ambiguities in the apartment’s financing, and he intends to prove it. He also wants to show MPs account statements from 2012, when he submitted them to the National Security Bureau (NBU). “I have nothing to hide,” he said.
Based on its own calculations, Dennik N daily wrote that Peter Pellegrini’s expenditures exceed his disclosed income, quantifying the difference at about €100,000 if his basic monthly spending amounts to €1,000. In reaction, Pellegrini told the daily that in addition to his income as a public official he has also had other income that the law does not oblige him to declare in his property return.
Pellegrini argued on Wednesday (April 4) that some of the income was from selling real estate. “I sold my apartment in 2008 after having it for eight years. In 2009 I sold my garage and I also owned a production hall that I sold in 2008,” explained Pellegrini.
He pointed to the fact that if a private individual owns real estate for more than five years, it’s not necessary to declare income from its sale in a tax return. “It’s not liable to taxation and I was not obliged to declare it in my property return, either,” said Pellegrini.