Opposition: Kalinak Signed for Stake in Firm But Was in Montenegro

Opposition criticises Interior Minsiter Kalinak (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 23 (TASR) – Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) is obviously able to be in two places simultaneously, as he was signing the transfer of a stake in a company called FoRest in Bratislava and visiting the Balkans at the same time, representatives of Opposition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and OLaNO-NOVA told a news conference on Thursday.

“Robert Kalinak has been misusing his post to enrich himself. He and ex-minister [of finance and transport] Jan Pociatek (Smer-SD) bought a stake in a firm called FoRest on June 5, 2012 for one euro each, while the real value was around €37,000. That’s capitalisation by 1.85 million percent. They paid for it by letting taxpayers pay it for them. They gave a post at the Interior Ministry to Robert Pinter, from whom they bought the stake, as they created a post for him there,” said SaS MP Jozef Rajtar.

OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic stressed that according to the Business Register, the transaction was carried out on June 5, 2012. “On that day Kalinak, Pociatek, lawyer Marek Turcan and Pinter met at 9 a.m. in Bratislava to sign a protocol of a general assembly on shares being transferred with a 99.99-percent discount. However, Kalinak was in Croatia and Montenegro on June 4 and 5, 2012. This is officially stated in an Interior Ministry press release that includes pictures from the trip. How is it that when he was in Croatia on June 4, from where he went directly to Montenegro, with an all-day agenda there, he managed to attend a general meeting in Bratislava on the morning of same day and signed for the stake’s transfer?” asked Matovic.

In light of this, Matovic invited everyone to a second protest in front of the Bonaparte residential complex in Bratislava in order to call for Kalinak’s dismissal. “We mustn’t allow people like this to rule us,” he stressed. Meanwhile, on Friday (June 24) the Opposition will hand over signatures for convening a special parliamentary session with a no-confidence motion in Kalinak on the agenda.

OLaNO-NOVA MP Daniel Lipsic said that the tangible and intangible assets department at the Interior Ministry, which is currently headed by Pinter, has never existed separately before and was previously under the remit of the economy department. “There was a need to create a new [department] because Pinter was a business partner, and he was immediately given the rank of major. It is unacceptable for the business partners of ministers of this Cabinet to be rewarded like this,” said Lipsic. [Officials working for the Interior Ministry often hold military ranks. – ed. note]

SaS MP Alojz Baranik called on people to pray that no one in Great Britain, where the referendum concerning Brexit is currently under way, learns what government rules are in place in Slovakia and how things are investigated there.” If a country like this were to preside over the EU, it would be unacceptable for the British,” added Baranik [referring to Slovakia’s upcoming Presidency of the EU Council – ed. note].