PM backs health minister; Fico is infuriated
Following a three-hour talk with health minister Ivan Uhliarik yesterday about suspicions of cronyism, Prime Minister Iveta Radicova announced by way of her spokesman, Rado Bato, that the minister still has her trust and backing.
Radicova had what she referred to as a ‘serious chat’ with minister Uhliarik over the alleged preferential treatment he gave to his former employer, pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The outcome was that Radicova felt the minister had acted in the public interest and also saved costs for health insurance companies in the end.
Even though the law was not violated in this instance, Radicova has called for clearer and stricter categorisation procedures to prevent such cases in future, which health minister Uhliarik has already proposed.
The outcome of the talks infuriated leader of opposition party Smer-SD, Robert Fico, who claimed that head of the KDH party Jan Figel had forced the PM to make the decision or he would have caused trouble in the governing coalition. Fico then referred to the PM as an ‘old grandmother’.