| Klub 500|
|Organisation for businesses which employ over 500 people. Trained to fund political parties legally, not with "brown envelopes".|
"Klub 500 is a non-profit organization, founded in 2002 by Slovak shareholders of the companies employing more than 500 employers." The non-profit part of that is contradicted by the next sentence: "The club was established to represent interests of Slovak enterpreneurs in Slovakia as well as on the field of international institutions."
The Iron reins
An interview headlined "the Iron Reins" describes the leader of the club. The steel mill "Železiarne Podbrezová with their 176 years of tradition has been “ruled” by Mr. Vladimir Soták for two decades. Vladimir Soták, lists what influences the most the management of the company this year. In his hand is irreplaceable cigar, sitting at its Bratislava office, in the building belonging to the group. From there he leads the Club 500, an association of major Slovak industrial employers....Železiarne are the main employer in the Horehronie Valley. There are few job opportunities here. In our company, we have people working and supporting their whole family."
Mr. Soták is known to have long-term good relations with Prime Minister Robert Fico. "In the past two months, we at 500 Club communicated with the chairmen of the coalition parties. We met with them several times, with Messrs. Fico, Bugár and Danko, "says Soták. In the meetings, they lobbied successfully for lower dividend tax.
|"Anti-corruption"||“In Slovakia in the 1990s I used UK companies wanting to do business to engage with local businesses. We set up the Klub 500 of companies with more than 500 employees. We got UK MPs via the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to teach them how business relates to, and can fund and lobby, political parties legitimately in a democracy, instead of their then model of cash in brown envelopes.”||Chris Donnelly||24 May 2018|