Kalinak to Face No-Confidence Motion by SaS and OLaNO-NOVA

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Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (archive photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 30 (TASR) – Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) will be the first cabinet member in this Government to face an Opposition-sponsored attempt at his ouster in Parliament over the tax scandal involving entrepreneur Ladislav Basternak, TASR learnt on Monday.

It was Opposition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and OLaNO-NOVA that announced their intention to initiate a no-confidence motion against Kalinak. The plan for them is to submit the required 30 MP’s signatures on Friday, June 3, and subsequently an extraordinary Parliamentary session will have to be convened within seven calendar days.

“This is the case in which someone close to (Prime Minister) Robert Fico, Jan Pociatek and (Interior Minister) Robert Kalinak took from the people of this country eight million euros via excessive VAT allowances in one year. Robert Kalinak is responsible for the manner, in which this case was investigated: investigators have swept the case under the rug and claimed that no fraud took place,” said OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic at a press conference.

According to Matovic, the Interior Minister defended Basternak in his interview given to the Hospodarske Noviny economic daily earlier in the day. “Kalinak claims that four years ago, there was the era when everything was paid in cash and defends Basternak by claiming that everything was legal. We think that Kalinak is directly responsible for this because he provided the cover-up,’ stressed Matovic, adding that Kalinak failed to promote any initiative to start an investigation into the case.

The case revolves around the Bratislava apartment complex called Five Star Residence, built by a company owned by entrepreneur Marian Kocner. Basternak’s firm allegedly purchased seven flats at €12 million and subsequently applied for and received excessive VAT tax allowance worth €2 million.

The number of non-confidence motions in the past uni-party Smer government (2012-16) was in double figures.