Kalinak: I’ll Keep Post of Interior Minister for Now

Interior Minister Robert Kalinak at a press conference in Bratislava on January 4, 2017

Bratislava, January 4 (TASR) – I’ll remain in my post for now, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) told a press conference dedicated to traffic safety in 2016 on Wednesday.

Kalinak had been asked whether he intends to resign from his post following the end of the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council, as rumours had it.

The Opposition wants to oust Kalinak over his alleged involvement in the tax fraud scandal concerning entrepreneur Ladislav Basternak. Moreover, Kalinak also faces an investigation regarding the purchase of a stake in a company called B.A. Haus from Basternak.

The vice-chairman of the strongest governing party Smer-SD explained that the ministerial post depends on the trust that the prime minister, coalition partners, caucuses and majority in Parliament place in him.

“If I ever lose such confidence and it’s explained to me that I don’t have it at that moment, my [time in the] post will then obviously be over. All in all, that is the destiny of every politician that occupies such a post,” said Kalinak.

Meanwhile, Kalinak stated that in the next six months his ministry will return to cases from last year that couldn’t be addressed due to the Slovak presidency, which kept the ministry busy to the fullest.

“A lot of things that happened had to be overlooked. We couldn’t respond to them because we simply didn’t have time for them,” said the interior minister, adding that it takes hours to prepare quality arguments and to defend the truth.

According to Kalinak, various cases were “not only distorted, but entirely fictitious, or conversely, legal issues were described as illegal”.

“Therefore, we want to resolve many issues, as the work of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) is extraordinary successful even in comparison with other countries,” he added.

“I believe that the end of the Slovak presidency will give us room to explain many cases in detail, to look back on them and to outline how we want to work in the future.”