Head of the National Property Fund (FNM) Anna Bubenikova is the first to slip on a Gorilla banana skin as government ministers decided this afternoon to recall her from the post.
Even though prior to the meeting the heads of the broken coalition parties were divided on whether to back the vote to recall Bubenikova, when it came to the crunch, the KDH and Most-Hid parties joined forces with the SaS party in voting in favour of the recall.
The sudden turnaround came also because of what agriculture minister Zsolt Simon from Most-Hid referred to as new information constantly coming to light. Ministers for the SDKU did not vote to recall Bubenikova, although acting Prime Minister Iveta Radicova supposedly voted in favour of her recall.
The call to withdraw Bubenikova as head of the national privatisation agency came from the SaS party, specifically from economy minister Juraj Miskov. He became the target of attacks from Bubenikova, who accused him of applying pressure on her regarding the potential sale of a 49% stake in the gas utility SPP. Miskov said her claims were complete lies and is now considering also slapping a criminal complaint on her.
In a highly irate mood, SDKU party head Mikulas Dzurinda referred to Bubenikova’s recall as being part of a pre-election campaign, and so he is now calling for the coalition partners to “cleanup up also at home” in reference to the Gorilla affair, mentioning specifically the personal advisor to interior minister Daniel Lipsic.
Dzruinda also took a poke at police commissioner Jaroslav Spisiak, saying he is now “acting like some independent analyst” over the Gorilla affair, but that he had done nothing in the year and three quarters since becoming aware of the situation. This comes after SME daily published an exclusive interview with him, in which he acknowledges the possibility of the Gorilla reports being authentic.
The Gorilla affair points a finger at many in high places, so it will be interesting to see what develops and who goes after who as the pre-election games get into full flow. The new political party called 99% is already claiming that it contributed to the downfall of Bubenikova and that the SDKU party is shielding her, as she had allegedly arranged a backhanded commission of around SKK 100 million (approx. EUR 3.3. million) for the party in the sale of heating company Paraplynove cyklus.