Slovak finance minister to tender resignation amid trading scandal
Slovakian Finance Minister Jan Pociatek
planned to tender his resignation amid accusations that information leaks had
preceded a recent reevaluation of Slovak koruna's trading band to the euro,
Slovak media reported Friday.
The European Union allowed Slovakia to re-evaluate the currency's parity to the euro from 35.442 to 30.126 koruny per euro on May 28, ahead of country's planned accession to the eurozone on January 1.
According to the central bank, the move was preceded by an abnormal volume of trading, now a matter of a bank investigation, in which some 24.5 billion koruny (1.2 billion dollars) had changed hands, dpa reported.
Earlier this week, former finance minister Ivan Miklos had accused two financial groups of earning money on alleged leaks of the re- evaluation.
Slovak media then reported that shortly before the announcement, Pociatek had met a high-ranking manager of one of the accused groups aboard a yacht in Monaco.
The 37-year-old minister admitted to an "informal meeting" but rejected allegations of leaking the sensitive information.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has so far backed Pociatek, but was accused of pursuing double standards after sacking the head of the Bratislava airport, who was reportedly on the yacht also.
In a statement Friday, the finance ministry said that Pociatek did not break the law but was to tender his resignation after Fico returned from a two-day EU summit in Brussels as he "does not want this case to harm" the ruling party, Smer - Social Democracy.
The premier told reporters in Brussels that he would make a decision shortly, CTK news agency reported.