New Party 99% Suspected of Having Dirty Money
An article in today’s issue of Pravda daily questions the money behind the recently established new political party 99%, specifically the support from businessman Ivan Weiss. Here TheDaily.sk provides you with a translation of the article.
Money in support of 99% invokes suspicions
Is it possible to do “clean” politics with suspicious money? The civil initiative 99% presents itself in the election campaign as an alternative to the inconsiderate corrupt politicians. In reality, though, it is financed by someone who is suspected of having acquired his wealth to the detriment of the state. One of the sponsors of the party is businessman Ivan Weiss, who worked for the company Leven. The same company owes Slovensky plynárensky priemysel over EUR 30 million, however. For almost six years now it has been taking gas from SPP but not paying anything for it.
Weiss, who supported the SDL party in the last elections, worked in SPP between 1998 and 2004 as director of the Strategy section and as development manager. Already at that time he found himself in a conflict of interests, when in addition to working in SPP he was acting as director of the company T–Invest, which has the sale of gas included in its objects of business. Weiss utilized his experience from SPP also when promoting the interests of the Levice-based company Leven.
When in 2005 that company failed to agree with SPP on the new price for consumed gas, SPP reacted by halting supplies. The issue ended up in court, which issued a preliminary injunction in the autumn of 2005 ruling that SPP was to continue supplying gas to the company – regardless of whether Leven paid for it or not.
The Levice company managed to utilize this accordingly. Despite the fact that the old price was one third lower than that paid by other customers of gas, SPP received nothing from it – until April 2011, when the gas company managed to get the preliminary injunction revoked and cut Leven’s gas supply.
According to information of Pravda, today Leven owes SPP around EUR 33 million. Some of the gas was supposedly passed to Levice energy facility operator Fortunae by way of Bratislava company T–Invest.
It demanded much more from local residents of the town for heat price hikes than gas suppliers in other towns.
Weiss admits that in 2004 or 2005 Level prepared a strategy for gas price regulation. He presented the position of Leven with his vision of heat supply to the town council and the town commission in Levice.
He distances himself from other activities of this company, though. “I have had no employment or commercial relationship with Level since 2006. Also, I never had an ownership involvement in Leven. For this reason, it is not my place to comment on the activities and lawsuits of the company Leven” Weiss told Pravda.
On the question of whether he finances the 99% party from money that he got from SPP, he replied that this was not true.
The effort of SPP to enforce its receivables and punish non-payers has not produced success yet. The criminal complaint that SPP filed was rejected by the investigator of the Organised Crime Bureau last year. Then the special prosecutor refused the complaint of SPP over the procedure of the police. They put the complaint aside as “unjustified”. The gas company faces the real threat that it will not manage to enforce its receivables worth more than EUR 30 million. Last year in this respect it initiated execution proceedings, but the chance of these companies being able to pay their debts is minimal, according to information of Pravda.
SPP refuses to comment on the situation. “Our company will not comment on lawsuits” said spokesman Peter Bednár for Pravda.
Source: PRAVDA, 26.1.2012, Author: rak