Slovak resigns as adviser to Greece
Posted On March 14, 2020
A Slovak implicated in a corruption scandal has resigned as a European Commission-appointed privatisation adviser to the Greek government.
Anna Bubeníková said today (10 August) that her step would ensure that the EU and Greece’s Asset Development Fund would not have “to judge and evaluate the disinformation and untrue assertions constantly made by some media and some Slovak politicians”.
Bubeníková was forced to stand down in January as the head of Slovakia’s National Property Fund (NPF), which oversees privatisation, after her name appeared in a set of leaked transcripts of secret-service investigations into corruption. Among the allegations is that she aided a company of her husband.
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No formal charges of wrongdoing have been brought against her.
Bubeníková had served in the NPF since 1994. She was elevated to the NPF’s supervisory board by a left-leaning coalition government led by Robert Fico, and was then appointed to head the fund in 2010 by a centre-right coalition government.
Bubeníková took up the post of EU adviser to Greece in August 2011, at the recommendation of the centre-right government, which had been one of the leading critics of the EU’s approach to Greece, questioning the wisdom of a bail-out.
Her resignation comes eight days after her role as adviser was highlighted by TV Markíza, a Slovak television channel owned by the Bermuda-based Central European Media Enterprises.
The new left-wing government, led by Fico, said on Tuesday (7 August) that it would ask the Eurogroup of finance ministers of eurozone countries to call for her dismissal, because of doubts about her ethical standards.
The scandal prompted by the leaked transcripts – dubbed the ‘Gorilla’ files in Slovakia – contributed to the decisiveness of Fico’s victory in elections in March, which resulted in the formation of a one-party government.
Bubeníková was paid by the Greek authorities, rather than by the EU. Advisers receive between €1,000 and €1,500 a month from the Greek privatisation agency.
Bubeníková was one of three privatisation advisers selected by the EU. The Asset Development Fund has four other advisers, all appointed by the Greek authorities.
Greece currently plans to raise €19 billion from the sale of public assets by 2015. It had hoped to earn €50bn, but scaled back its privatisation programme after a range of problems, including the resignation of the head of the privatisation agency, Costas Mitropoulos, in July.