Former PM and party chairman of Smer-SD, Robert Fico, got a bit of a surprise when he showed up at the construction site of the R1 motorway last week with former transport minister Lubomir Vazny, as they were initially refused entry. In the end the construction company Granvia Construction allowed the two men to look round the site as private visitors accompanied by company employees.
The Smer-SD press department says Fico wanted to make an inspection of the Nitra-Tekovske Nemce motorway construction site. He does not have any legitimate right to make an inspection, though, and so was refused entry to the site at the instruction of the Ministry of Transport.
After the incident Fico said: “We had problems trying to get in to the construction site, because the Ministry of Transport had requested the construction company to refuse us entry. We feel this is a bit ridiculous, especially as I have visited the site many times before. I came here as someone who had made decisions about construction work in the past, so this is pretty pathetic, and it makes me sad that transport minister Jan Figel hasn’t even found time to visit the site yet.”
Spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, Martin Krajcovic, said that Fico should have known better, explaining that any MP is entitled to request that an inquiry be made at any institution in Slovakia, but they cannot call an inspection day. “We are surprised that as a former prime minister Mr. Fico doesn’t know what rights he has and doesn’t have” declared Krajcovic.
Fico reiterated several times how he was sad that the current transport minister Jan Figel had not yet visited the site, which is why some think this was the main reason why Fico and Vazny made the trip, to attempt to embarrass Figel.