Political Golden Handshakes Under Scrutiny
Head of the KDH party and former transport minister Jan Figel is having to answer for the large golden handshakes received by some people put into top posts by his party, which are classed by current transport minister Jan Pociatek as excessive.
One example is that of head of the Slovak Post Office, Marcela Hrda, who could enjoy a fat bonus of EUR 178,000 as there is no bonus cap set out in her contract, and so she is perfectly entitled to take the money, which minister Pociatek compared to 25 years of salary for an average postman.
Figel admitted on the political talk show V Politike that the contract was badly set up and that he had no way of knowing what kind of bonus would be produced from the year-end financial statements when he signed the contract. Figel said current minister Pociatek can deal with it as neither the statements nor the money has been approved or paid out.
Another case concerns the state rail company ZSSK, where former head Pavol Kravec could get a similar EUR 170,000 for less than a year in the job. Figel admitted today that other board members in the rail companies ZSSK and ZSSK Cargo also received over-generous bonuses, while condemning them as unacceptable.
Ironically, the big bonus system was introduced by the former government (2006-2010) led by Robert Fico, and even though the short-lived government of PM Iveta Radicova got ministries to pledge to change the system, it wasn’t applied or checked systematically. Figel blames the companies, not forgetting to point out that the bonus system arose under Fico’s previous term.