Championships Are Over; Let the Audit Begin
Just one day after the end of the Ice Hockey World Championships finance minister Ivan Miklos called for an investigation into the financing of the reconstructed ice hockey stadium in Bratislava.
In February Miklos questioned whether the money used to construct the stadium had been used effectively and if reconstruction work had not been overcharged. The government put up EUR 40 million for the work, which works out at just over 54% of the initially projected costs of EUR 74.822 million. The Ministry of Finance then provided an additional EUR 12 million loan at the request of Bratislava mayor Milan Ftacnik.
Both the Ministry of Finance and Bratislava City Hall agreed at the time that an extensive audit should be conducted by the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) once the Championships were over. Miklos sent a letter yesterday to the Supreme Audit Office requesting the investigation to go ahead.
Finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaros informed that “The championships are over, and so now it’s time to make out the bill”. The initially projected cost of the stadium was set at EUR 75 million, but latest figures point to almost EUR 90 million having been spent on it.
Head of opposition party Smer-SD, Robert Fico, says he welcomes the move as the coalition is essentially investigating itself, as the whole reconstruction was organised by coalition party KDH, which was in control of City Hall and selected the company. Whatever the outcome of the audit, the bill for the hockey tournament will be footed by the generous taxpayers.