Fico: What’s Happening in Recent Days is Targeted Attack on Slovak Presidency

Fico on accusations against the Foreign Affairs Ministry (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 23 (TASR) – What’s been happening in the past two or three days is not an accident, but a targeted attack against the successful Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU and against Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak, said Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) following the Cabinet session on Wednesday.

Fico was responding to accusations against the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry over allegedly overpriced events linked to the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council. He said that Lajcak is a high-quality diplomat. “I would wish other countries to have diplomats like this,” said Fico, adding that the Slovak Presidency is positively evaluated in the world, too.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister criticised journalists for publishing false information about the case, thus damaging the Slovak Presidency. “I have nothing against you gunning for us. However, you do not inform the public, but fight this Government. Some of you are dirty anti-Slovak prostitutes and I stand behind this expression,” stressed Fico, adding that he will protect the Slovak Presidency’s good reputation until the very last moment.

Former employee of the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry Zuzana Hlavkova on Monday (November 21) accused the ministry of wasting money vis-a-vis events surrounding Slovakia’s Presidency of the EU Council. She pointed to an event organised to present the Slovak presidency’s logo. According to her, there were three possible providers of the event, but Evka Agency was automatically chosen as the winner, with a bid of €156,000. Moreover, Hlavkova said that the budgets of several projects concerning the Slovak presidency increased following the arrival of former TV Markiza director Zuzana Tapakova at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the autumn of 2015. Hlavkova let the minister know about it through a letter; however, Lajcak has not taken any action on the issue. He only offered her another place at the ministry, and she refused to take it.

Hlavkova appealed to Transparency International Slovakia, which subsequently filed a motion with the Public Procurements Office, the Anti-monopoly Office (PMU) and the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) in this regard.