President Addresses Parliament on Corruption
President Andrej Kiska, the first truly politically independent president in Slovakia’s modern democratic age, took the floor of parliament this morning, with criticism of the level of corruption in the health service, for example, backing the recent raised voices of the people through several demonstrations.
After the formalities of thanks and best wishes, President Kiska noted that parliament was a reflection of society and its functioning. He pointed to the recent ‘serious events’ and referring to the public outcries against corruption in the health service, after allegations of ties of former parliamentary chairman Pavol Paska to companies cashing in on state orders. Paska resigned the day after a public protest.
President Kiska referred to the public protests over the past three weeks as understandable, legitimate and that he understood the reason for them, saying it “was important to listen to these public expressions of discontent”. The president criticised how political nominations in the health service had been run of the mill in Slovakia for years, but that it should not be that way.
The president then underlined the need for a system that could prevent corruption in the health service, saying “personally I feel that people justifiably expect that this is not just the end of one affair, but the beginning of a strong and determined effort”. He added how people expected the ‘depoliticisation’ of the health service, while demanding an investigation into every dubious procurement or acquisition in the health service.