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Smer Party: Corruption has reached a "catastrophic and critical state"

Speaking in parliament on in an extraordinary debate on corruption, Smer party chairman Robert Fico said corruption has reached a "catastrophic and critical state." He said privatisation has been seriously affected, with money channelled to political parties and leaders motivated by greed.

None of those suspected of taking bribes have been punished and, at worst, politicians suspected of doing so were either transferred to other positions or had to leave politics.

Fico also said many government-backed privatisation attempts failed because they were linked to corruption, citing steel maker VSZ, gas utility SPP and Nafta Gbely. He also accused Mikulas Dzurinda's cabinet of not doing enough to fight corruption.

Dzurinda countered that Fico's allegations are politically motivated and aimed at covering up his defeat in September's parliamentary elections.

(NewsBase 07.iii.03)

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