A closer look at Slovakia’s Plavčan scandal

EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Slovak Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport Peter Plavcan chairs the European Culture and Education ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 21 November 2016.

A closer look at Slovakia’s Plavčan scandal


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Police in Slovakia are investigating a high-profile scandal involving Education Minister Peter Plavčan who has been accused by the opposition of misallocating millions of euros in European Union funds for research and development.

The office of Slovakia’s special prosecutor ordered the investigation after the main opposition alleged the minster doled out EU grants to companies that had reportedly adjusted their focus of operations in the Business Register shortly before applying for the subsidies.

Some of the country’s biggest universities have complained that none of their projects received funding.

According to The Slovak Spectator, the police are not the only ones investigating. The European Commission, the Supreme Audit Office and ministry officials are also checking into the subsidies.

The Slovak Spectator also reported that the owner of Prefa Alfa, František Zvrškovec, said his company was contacted by an evaluator identified as Peter Klamo, who is a board member of the Welding Research Institute.

Zntivrškovec, who has filed an official complaint in Slovakia and with the EU anti-fraud agency OLAF, said Klamo told him he needed to pay 20% of the value of the project in order to win the EU funding grant.

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