Parliament: No-Confidence, Corruption, Tax Havens
Independent MP and former interior minister Daniel Lipsic, backed by head of the OLaNO party Igor Matovic, is not letting up in his hounding of Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Paska with accusations that Paska has been sucking cash out of the health service for years. In his latest press conference today,Lipsic pointed to another company, Penta Enterprises Ltd, with the same address in the tax haven of Belize as the company Medical Group SK’s parent.
Lipsic’s comments implying the company Penta Enterprises belonged to the financial group Penta here were immediately met with rejection of the claim by the company, which has now said it will be taking out a lawsuit against Lipsic. Lipsic said the connection just proves that the alleged agreement between current Prime Minister Robert Fico and Penta’s co-owner Jaroslav Hascak over business in the health service outlined in the Gorilla transcripts, was still in place.
Prime Minister Robert Fico has found himself at the centre of a no-confidence motion in parliament in an exhausting session over the past three days. The vote is due some time soon, but the Smer-SD majority are sure to defend against the motion, which accuses the PM of creating a corrupt environment in the country.
The affair surrounding Paska, who was involved in the company Medical Group SK from the beginning but who insists he has not done business with the company for years, shows the company Medical Group faring particularly well in state tenders under the Smer-SD party governments. A recent case where a medical machine was mediated by the company for a state hospital at three times the market price rekindled the allegations. It led to the recall of the health minister and deputy chair of parliament.
The company Medical Group is owned by a trail of companies ending in the tax haven of Belize, which provides anonymity for the true owners of the company. Paska denies ever having any involvement with any tax haven and was never a silent owner or recipient of profit, and so is demanding an apology. He, too, will face a no-confidence motion, but it would only carry if some of the majority Smer-SD MPs were to break ranks, an unlikely prospect.
Lipsic also pointed to how the Slovak company Medical Group SK shared an address with companies of Juraj Siroky, a highly successful businessman who has long been accused of being the Smer-SD party’s sponsor. His companies have done well in state tenders in the construction industry, among others.
A protest is also being organised by MP Alojz Hlina outside of Pavol Paska’s house in Kosice for Tuesday at 3pm.