Emissions Scandal Just Won’t Blow Away
Interior minister Robert Kalinak is starting to feel the heat with demands to disclose the findings surrounding the infamous emissions scandal under the former coalition government of Robert Fico, with the Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee also now requesting information from Kalinak.
Pressure has been put on PM Fico recently by his rival in the presidential elections, Andrej Kiska, who is also demanding that a list of those who may have benefited from the dubious underpriced sale of Slovakia’s emissions quotas. The list came from Swiss authorities who have also been investigating the case and people involved in it. Minister Kalinak says he has not seen this key piece of evidence involving one of the more blatant and strongly publicised cases of speculative corrupt behaviour. He did deduce, though, that there are probably no politicians on the list because he had received no such information. Astonishing really, considering that such a theft, or agreement, could not have taken place without it being an inside job. The Defence and Security Committee has requested Kalinak to look into the option of disclosing the list. The list would be of huge interest, of course, which is why there is always the chance it will stay locked up somewhere. Kalinak referred to the procedural obstacles also in the investigative process and in respect of bank secrecy. The investigation will most likely lead a trail to members of Fico’s coalition partner at the time, the Slovak National Party, which had its thumb on the Ministry of Environment responsible for the lucrative deal. Fico himself already said this month that he had no problem with letting any information about the case out. Background:
- In 2008 Slovakia sold 15 million tonnes of CO2 emissions to Interblue Group at the price of EUR 5.05 per metric ton, which was well under the price that neighbouring countries received for their emissions.
- Interblue then sold on the quotas to Japanese companies at EUR 8 per tonne, meaning the intermiedary company Interblue Group made millions of euro on the deal
- The contract included a clause that Interblue Group would reimburse EUR 1 per ton if proceeds from the sale were spent on environmental projects in Slovakia, but to date nothing has been received.
- The company was then wound up, passing its rights to Swiss-based Interblue Group Europe.
- The transaction has been under investigation in Slovakia, Switzerland and the USA.
For more on the case: http://www.thedaily.sk/?s=interblue&x=0&y=0