Smer-SD Gets Tough Over Tax Office Tender
The youth section of main opposition party Smer-SD, the Young Social Democrats (MSD) are touring Bratislava with a billboard van displaying a caricature of Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, demanding that she speak up about the suspect tender for tax office premises in Kosice.
The billboard shows the PM sweeping dirt under an SDKU carpet with the question “Mrs. Radicova, why are you covering up partisan business?”, in reference to the lucrative tender for the rental of the premises, which was won twice by Nitra Invest, a company owned by SDKU party colleague Ondrej Scurko.
The billboard was unveiled outside the Government Office by MSD members headed by Smer-SD MP Andrej Kolesik. He refused to answer a question from the media about the contract signed under the Smer-SD government just before its defeat in the parliamentary elections in 2010, though. That rental in that contract was about 30% more expensive than the current contract that is being disputed.
Initially, PM Radicova said the first contract was not transparent with suspicion of cronyism and so called for a new tender. She then had to battle with finance minister Ivan Miklos and others in the party over the affair. The second tender was won again by Nitra Invest, though, as it was the only bidder in the end. NGOs have criticised the second tender as well, saying that although it was transparent, the conditions made it inaccessible to many companies.
Recently Smer-SD head Robert Fico demanded that the PM recall finance minister Miklos or she herself would face a no-confidence motion in parliament.