Opposition Resumes Attempt to Oust Fico over Basternak Case

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

Bratislava, September 23 (TASR) – Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) is again facing an Opposition motion for his dismissal over his inactivity with respect to the Basternak tax fraud case, TASR learnt on Friday.

The Opposition will also attempt to oust Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) over his alleged involvement in the scandal after Parliament has finished dealing with Fico.

[Both Fico and Kalinak have been accused of shady links to businessman Ladislav Basternak, who is accused of tax fraud. – ed. note]

Attempts to dismiss both officials were postponed by Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) at the beginning of July. The main stated reason for this move was the behaviour of OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic, who unfurled a banner during a parliamentary session. The banner displayed Kalinak’s and Basternak’s faces with the slogan: ‘Decent people pay taxes, thieves live off them’.

“Robert Fico with his behaviour isn’t only supporting the criminal activities of his fellow Government members, he’s also intentionally encouraging a corrupt environment, thereby excusing such behaviour at lower levels of state administration as well,” stated the Opposition in a document.

Opposition MPs have also chided Fico for living in an apartment owned by Basternak. They say that Fico’s monthly rent is as much as €4,450 lower than it ought to be, which means that he’s saved €196,000 in the 44 months that he’s been living there. The Opposition has called this discount a bribe.