Fico: Kalinak One of Best Ministers I’ve Met

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Interior Minister Robert Kalinak and Prime Minister Robert Fico (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 5 (TASR) – Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) is one of the best ministers that I’ve met and I don’t understand why the Opposition, anti-Government media and President Andrej Kiska are so obsessed by him, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) said in Parliament during a no-confidence motion in Kalinak on Tuesday.

Fico admonished the Opposition that it doesn’t have any moral right to judge Kalinak, pointing out that MP Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP Jozef Rajtar’s assistant Filip Rybanic as a bank employee violated banking secrecy by going public with information from Kalinak’s account. Moreover, according to Fico, Opposition figures looked into the accounts of several Government officials. “I do have information about everything you’ve done with our accounts,” said Fico, adding that banks are obliged to report such incidents to the customers concerned. “[The bank] has reported this to several clients,” said Fico.

In addition, SaS vice-chairman Lubomir Galko when he served as defence minister in 2010-11 ordered the wiretapping of several journalists and even his own assistants, said Fico, going on to lambaste We Are Family chairman Boris Kollar. “I really wonder how a person with such a past can be chairman of a parliamentary committee [for public administration and regional development – ed. note],” said Fico, adding that the National Security Bureau has confirmed reports that Kollar was involved in drug trafficking and contacts with the underworld.

Fico praised Kalinak’s merits in Slovakia’s entry to the Schengen Area. “It’s necessary to thank Kalinak for that. If we hadn’t buckled down, the outer Schengen border would have circumvented Slovakia,” said Fico, also pointing to Kalinak’s involvement in introducing the Electronic Marketplace, the ESO public administration reform and election codices, among other things.

The Government earlier in the day also backed Kalinak, stating that he has several times sufficiently explained his relations to businessman Ladislav Basternak, who is suspected of tax fraud. At the same time the Cabinet stated that corrections in the drawing of EU funds, which is one of the reasons for the no-confidence motion, were also necessary in tenders organised by current Opposition parties when they were in government.