Platinum Scandal Points Suspicion to SDKU Party
A recently exposed controversial case of possible crony abuse of state material reserves that points a finger at members of the SDKU party has revealed that Slovakia paid more for special platinum sieves than it consequently sold them for.
The State Material Reserves authority spent over EUR 1 million on 63kg of the special sieves, but then sold them for just EUR 667,000 to the company Heneken, which is owned by a former MP candidate of SDKU, Michal Hudoba, before ending up with a company in Britain.
The reason for the low price is allegedly that they had been oxidised and were treated as car engine parts instead of precious metals. An expert appraiser cited by Pravda daily today, though, says that these sieves do not become oxidised and so basically last forever.
This means that the authority sold the precious metal filters possible at around EUR 1,500,000 below their market value, by way of an electronic auction. TASR newswire reported that the company Heneken made its bid just one second before the bidding closed.
When queried about the case, head of the SDKU party Mikulas Dzurinda said it was absolutely nothing to do with him, while also denying that his party was involved in some way. That could be a tough argument to defend, though, also because the head of the State Material Reserves authority, Mrs Eva Hrinkova, was the former head of the Government Office when Dzurinda was PM.
Hrinkova was appointed to the post by current economy minister Juraj Miskov, but he is claiming that that was a mere formality and that the post is the jurisdiction of the government and that it was the SDKU party that nominated her.
The case is still being probed but as is often the case, getting to the bottom of dodgy deals like this, the real bottom, is a rather complicated affair when politicians and public officials move within the law and its loopholes and pass the buck in any direction they can.