Slovak PM Fico likely to face no-confidence vote over CO2 emissions deal

By bne IntelliNews February 10, 2014

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico may face its second no-confidence vote over the sale of excess carbon dioxide emissions credits, known as Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) to a US company back in 2008, SITA news agency reported. Three opposition parties - KDH, MOST-HID and SDKU-DS, submitted on February 7 a proposal for calling an unscheduled parliamentary session for the vote. Parliament Speaker Pavol Paska is obliged to call the session within seven days of the delivery of the initiative.

The opposition accuses Fico, who is a second-term Prime Minister, that in 2008 his government signed a deal with Interblue Continental to sell excess carbon emission rights for EUR 5.05 per tonne, a price significantly lower than the market value. The police estimated the damages suffered by the state at about EUR 66mn. The a deal has eventually led to the sacking of the environment minister.  

According to a report by SME daily, the country’s Special Prosecutor's Office said earlier this month that three Slovak entrepreneurs have received money from Interblue Continental for the deal, but did not elaborate on their possible connection with Fico’s cabinet.

A no-confidence vote looks unlikely to pass as Fico’s SMER-SD party has a majority of 83 deputies in the 150-seat parliament.

The previous vote, in September 2013, was over the government’s decision to buy out the 49% it does not already own in the parent company of the country’s dominant gas utility Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel (SPP).

Fico is running for president in the March 15 elections and, according to the polling agencies, he is the most preferred candidate with around 40% of the votes.

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