The assets declaration of Slovak public officials for 2019 have finally been published on the website of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. This happened later than usual. The deadline for submitting the declaration was originally set at the end of April 2020. The reason was said to be a significant increase in the number of persons inspected after the change in legislation and, of course, the situation caused by the coronavirus. The inspections and subsequent publication thus took almost a year.
"The verification of the declarations took longer due to a huge increase in the number of public officials,"
Boris Susko, head of the parliamentary committee on incompatibilities, clarified the situation.
As of January 1, 2020, the range of public officials subject to this duty has roughly quadrupled, from about 580 to more than 2,000. According to Susko, several officials weren't even aware this duty applied to them. The committee had to check all the declarations submitted and request information in the case of inaccuracies.
Therefore, only property declarations for 2019 and previous years are currently published on the website of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. Of the members of the then cabinet of Petr Pellegrini, Prime Minister Pellegrini himself earned the most in 2019. He declared CZK 1,775,956.22. The ministers, however, weren't doing too bad either…
The process is different in the Czech Republic
Unlike their Slovak counterparts, the assets of Czech politicians remain a secret. The Ministry of Justice makes its declaration public only upon request, which it decides on within 15 days from the date of receipt of the request, or from its supplementation and specification. The deadline can be extended once for up to ten days for serious reasons.
László Sólymos (CZK 1,615,957.82)
László Sólymos, former Minister of the Environment, declared the highest assets of all ministers. He earned CZK 1,615,957.82. As part of the marital community of property, he declared an apartment in Bratislava's Old Town, a garden and a plot of land in Rusovce, a house or an apartment in the Croatian resort of Sukošan, as well as bank savings, cash and a mortgage loan. Furthermore, he declared a business share in a company, a loan, as well as a brand watch.
Miroslav Lajčák (CZK 1,602,403.49)
Former Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák declared the third-highest income from the circle of government members, amounting to CZK 1,602,403.49. Lajčák declared, among other things, the ownership of an apartment and a share in the common area of a building and land in Tatranská Lomnica, a share in the ownership of a family house in Jarabina, a car in the marital community of property and a loan.
Richard Raši (CZK 1,586,377.63)
The fourth highest income, amounting to CZK 1,586,377.63, was declared by the then Deputy Prime Minister for Investment and Informatization Richard Raši.
He declared ownership of several properties in Košice, including an apartment, a garage, a family house and a garden, as well as financial savings, ownership of securities and a loan.
Ladislav Kamenický (CZK 1,301,502.43)
In 2019, the then Minister of Finance Ladislav Kamenický earned the least of the members of the government - "only" CZK 1,301,502.43. In his assets declaration, he listed a family house in the Ružinov district of Bratislava and a plot of land in Devín. He also boasts the ownership of various works of art and has declared home furnishings, a mortgage, cash and a stake in a business company as well.
The president earned the most
Of the top constitutional officials, the President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová, earned the most in 2019, closely followed by former Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and former President of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Andrej Danek.
President Zuzana Čaputová (CZK 2,251,450.66)
Even though she has been active in the office for the shortest time, she earned the most. President Zuzana Čaputová only took up her position in the middle of 2019. Yet she declared the respectable income of CZK 2,251,450.66 in her assets declaration. She entered a total amount of CZK 15,980.27 in the "box" entitled "other income". Furthermore, she declared two loans, ownership of a family house, a cottage and arable land in Pezinok. She owns a car and has a mortgage. Under "Donations received or other revenue", she listed a financial gift in connection with the award of the European Prize for Political Culture.
Peter Pellegrini (CZK 1,775,956.22)
As we have already mentioned, the former prime minister earned CZK 1,775,956.22 from his public office and didn't declare any other income. He declared owning an apartment in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica, a holiday cottage in the village of Králiky and a plot of land in Lukavica. He also listed savings and a mortgage loan.
Andrej Danko (CZK 1,127,221.25)
The then head of parliament, Andrej Danko, earned the least of the above in 2019, namely CZK 1,127,221.25. He did not declare any other income. He did, however, declare movable and immovable property, including a house under construction in the Dúbravka district of Bratislava, gardens or vineyards. He listed jewellery, watches, works of art, household appliances and a motorboat as his movable property. Furthermore, he declared cash and a stake in a company. Under "the existence of a liability", he stated debt assumption, a loan and home-purchase savings. He also mentioned the use of an apartment in the cadastral area of Niva, which he does not own.
Eduard Heger (CZK 1,011,632.16)
The current Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger earned CZK 1,011,632.16 in 2019. He owns an apartment in the Dúbravka district of Bratislava, arable land in Jablonec or business shares in limited liability companies. He also declared a mortgage loan and use of a car owned by another person.
Boris Kollár (CZK 1,000,575.36)
The current head of the National Council of the Slovak Republic has declared assets worth CZK 1,000,575.36. In his assets declaration, he declared the ownership of several properties, including an apartment, a family house with a garden and a share of land in the Old Town, a house with a plot of land in Dunajská Streda, but also properties abroad, namely a house in Thailand, a cottage in Berg, Austria and a building in Dubai. Among movable property, he declared home furnishings of his house, flat and cottage, works of art of collectable value or a collection of watches and jewellery. Furthermore, he declared cash as well as banks savings, receivables, trademarks, securities, shares, several shares in limited liability companies and copyright. Under "the existence of a liability", he listed loans, borrowings, liabilities, financial guarantees and securities.
Kollár stated that in addition to public functions, he'd also held the position of chairman of the Sme rodina (We Are Family) movement, which, according to his declaration, resulted in benefits in the form of a car and a mobile phone.
Milan Krajniak (CZK 981,115.39)
Milan Krajniak recently resigned as Minister of Labor. His income from public office amounted to CZK 981,115.39. He declared an apartment in Bratislava's Old Town, arable land in Eliášovce, and listed works of art of collectable value as well as home furnishings of multiple apartments among his movable property. He also declared a car. IUnder "ownership of property rights or other property values", he listed copyrights, cash, bank savings, investment gold and business shares.
Veronika Remišová (CZK 978,227.62)
Deputy Prime Minister Veronika Remišová earned CZK 978,227.62. She declared other income in the amount of CZK 220,844.25.
She declared ownership of flats in Bratislava's Old Town and Devínská Nová Ves, a cottage in Pribylina, an apartment in Etterbeek, Belgium, and a car. She also listed money in bank accounts, shares of companies traded on the stock exchange, a stake in a limited liability company and a mortgage.
Igor Matovič (948,751.49 CZK)
Deputy Prime Minister Igor Matovič and the current Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic did not list any assets in his assets declaration, apart from the amount of CZK 948,751.49 for his public function.
That would mean Matovič is not the owner of any immovable property and does not use any real estate owned by another legal or natural person which would exceed the value stipulated by law.
"From his assets declaration, it looks as if Igor Marovič were a man without property who does not live anywhere. But that doesn't provide a realistic picture of the assets situation of his person and his family,"
said Zuzana Petková from the Stop Corruption Foundation.
The minister and his family live in a house that probably belongs to his wife. According to the law, he should declare its use if the value of the property (in this case the rent) exceeds CZK 472,144.40 per year, i.e. CZK 39,354.01 per month. The Anti-Corruption Foundation called on the committee on incompatibilities of the National Council of the Slovak Republic to verify whether Matovič hadn't exceeded this limit, and whether his assets declaration was complete and correct. It should also review his movable property.
Igor Matovič transferred all property including the family business to his wife. The judgment of the District Court in Trnava, which came into force on 31 August 2006, annulled their marital community of property. This is one way in which politicians can avoid public scrutiny, as the property of the wife and underage children should be declared, but doesn't have to be made public.
"Igor Matovič is not the only public official from whose assets declaration we can learn close to nothing. However, we can consider him an exemplary case, because he is the Minister of Finance of the very government that declared transparency in public finances and politics,"
added Zuzana Petková.
The salaries of Slovak politicians are rising
While until 2018 the salaries of Slovak MEPs weren't increasing, since 2019 they have been on the rise. On average, MEPs earn approximately CZK 145,000 a month. President Zuzana Čaputová, who has become the most earning head of state in the country's history, has the highest income. She is entitled to a monthly salary of approximately CZK 375,000, which is over CZK 130,000 per month more than her predecessor Andrej Kiska was earning.
So what do you think? To some, the salaries of constitutional officials appear to be inadequately high, while others claim that they deserve them for their work. Either way, they certainly have no trouble getting by, and none of them seems to have a reason to complain about their income.