Governing SMER in Crony Tender Allegations
The ruling Smer-SD party is feeling the pressure after it was disclosed that a specific company with potential ties to the party had been favoured for 70 tenders for technical assistance with EU-funded projects.
The party is not yet commenting on the allegations that its party members favoured the company Star EU for the tenders in the past. The company was successful with all 70 tenders it submitted, winning orders worth almost EUR 1.5 million, according to analyst Ivan Kuhn from the M. R. Stefanik Conservative Institute.
The mayor of the village of Vapenik, for instance, confirmed that some of the top members in the party had endorsed the company to help with the projects. Other mayors apparently received the same message.
Even current labour minister Jan Richter had recommended the company in a party meeting with local mayors back in 2008 when he served as the party’s general manager. Sme daily approached Richter and Prime Minister Robert Fico today, but have received no response to the allegations.
The tenders were arranged through another company called Tender Profit, which even has links to Star EU.