Curious Ties Behind Rail Company Appointment

The appointments being made by the current government of Robert Fico are being questioned as state enterprises and organisations start to welcome back some old familiar faces.

An article in Hospodarske Noviny today points to how certain people who held posts in strategic companies also under the previous Fico government are gradually occupying top posts again, even though there could be a conflict of interests as they have ties with influential businesspeople, including Vladimir Poor, who has long been tipped as the secret sponsor of Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party.

One such appointment is that of Vladimir Luptak, who became the general director of railway company ŽS Cargo Slovakia. Luptak previously held a post in the Supervisory Board of ŽOS Trnava. It is maybe a very fortunate coincidence that the company ZOS Trnava, which Poor has a controlling influence over, specialises in repairing and overhauling railway wagons.

Luptak refused to talk to the daily about his relations with Poor, while the Ministry of Transport argues that it is hard to find someone in the field who is free of this kind of conflict of interest. Under the previous government of Robert Fico, Luptak ran another state rail company Železnice Slovenskej republiky (ZSR), so his ‘track’ record obviously suits the current government.

Earlier this week, Transparency International Slovensko pointed to the politicisation of top posts in state enterprises, with new heads almost always being appointed with a change of government and not necessarily based on their suitability for the post.


  1. Statements like that Marek tell us more about you than the situation regarding Slovak rail

  2. the IC is not nearly as good as other western euro or asian services. the toilets are usually full and pouring out. the ‘normal’ network is a disaster and actually isn’t that cheap. the train station is a disaster as well and frankly shocking when someone not familiar with that dung heap first sets foot in BA. typical Slovak management really bites.

  3. The Inter City service is excellent, as good as anywhere in the world. The normal network is a little tired and worn but it’s cheap enough to provide a service for the masses.
    The implication that trains in India are substandard is as complete rubbish as if I were to quote the Appalachia as being typical United states. The rail repair works in Ziar Nad Hronom has contracts with many foreign rail networks to repair the tyres on rolling stock,because presumably they are extremely competent.Politicians have no shame, I agree.

    1. ….and so the same old story continues in typical Slovak style. Same Circus, different tent

  4. These people have no shame!
    Expat – I agree about the state of the existing trains and rolling stock – disgrace!

  5. “specialises in repairing and overhauling railway wagons”….are you kidding me, someone in Slovakia can actually claim they do this???? I have been on a good deal of trains all across the world, and the ones here in Slovakia are at about the same level as what you can see in India! Come on, even 1st class is like coach anywhere in the civilized world! They should recycle all the carriages and start over, not overhaul!

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