Economy Ministry in Dubious Land Sale
A subsidiary of financial group J&T has allegedly gained a lucrative piece of land in the Old Town centre of Bratislava from the Ministry of Economy under questionable circumstances.
An article in today’s daily SME reports that the land was sold to the company Menolli, for which J&T Real Estate arranged the building permit. A multi-storey car park is now being erected on the site, which is next to J&Ts Tower 115.
The sold land was only part of a much larger parcel owned by the Ministry of Economy, and the thumbs up to the sale was given under former economy minister Lubomir Jahnatek.
The Ministry of Economy claims that the land was only offered to the company after it had been refused by Bratislava City Hall, but City Hall denies any knowledge of such a refusal, stating that “the real estate administration department did not receive any such offer”.
The deal had to get the blessing of economy minister Juraj Miskov from government coalition party SaS, who may have breached the law if the land was not offered firstly to Bratislava City Hall. The company Menolli apparently had right of first refusal as it already owned the adjacent piece of land.
Another dubious fact is that the company Menolli purchased 199 square metres (at just EUR 30,000), which is just one metre less than the threshold of 200 sqm that would have necessitated a public offer of the sale in the press.