The Slovenia Times

Anti-Graft Boss: EU Commissioer Candidate Bratušek Dodging Decision


"Senior office holders are putting private interest before public interest and do not even have the integrity to receive mail from official authorities; instead they are hampering the work of institutions of the state with cunning manoeuvring and delays," Boris Štefanec said.

His statement referred to a decision that the Commission issued following a conflict of interest investigation of the procedure that led to the nomination of Slovenia's EU commissioner candidate.

Bratušek refused to pick up the registered mail until the expiry of a two-week term, whereupon she was served on Saturday. She now has seven working days to respond to the report and can ask for another seven-day extension.

By delaying receipt of the decision Bratušek has been able to delay the release of the as yet confidential report until after her European Parliament hearing, which is scheduled for Monday.

When a government's term would end in the past there have often been "inappropriate" appointments to senior posts in the public administration and state-owned companies, but recently the "arrogance to the citizens...has extended to appointments to international institutions."

Bratušek has been the subject of cross-partisan criticism for being on the three-member list of EU Commission candidates that the government submitted to Brussels, though Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, another name on the list, was spared the acrimony.

The anti-graft watchdog launched an inquiry to determine whether the nomination was in line with ethics rules and the act on the government. Its conclusions will be made public once Bratušek has responded to the decision.

Štefanec made the statements at a press conference marking the 10th anniversary of the anti-graft watchdog.


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