Slovakia: Fico getting his coalition together
Slovakia’s ex-prime mininster Robert Fico, charged with forming a government after his election victory, is close to achieving his goal: the left-wing Hlas party led by Peter Pellegrini — also a former prime minister — has decided to join forces with Fico and turned down an offer to form a coalition with the liberal Progresívne Slovensko, the Christian Democratic KDH and the pro-business liberal SAS. For commentators, this is a mistake.
A missed opportunity for the kingmaker
What was the point of Pellegrini parting ways with Fico three years ago and founding his own party, Hlas, Sme asks:
“The Hlas project has become pointless. Pellegrini is going back to Fico even though this will be a fatal embrace for his party. Pellegrini will probably secure Fico’s support for the presidential election and thus fulfil his personal ambitions. ... Pellegrini had a real opportunity to break with the past, pursue decent politics and stop Fico from robbing the country of even more years. He didn’t use this opportunity.”
No longer real members of Nato and the EU
Denník N describes what this coalition means for Slovakia’s foreign policy:
“Peter Pellegrini stresses that he will be the guarantor of Slovakia being firmly anchored in the European Union and Nato and that he will exit the coalition with Fico and the nationalist SNS in the event of a change to this. That sounds good. But in practice we’re likely to see Fico and others talking and doing outrageous things while the foreign minister, together with Pellegrini, is left to put out the fires and iron out the biggest problems with our allies. We will thus only be members of the EU and Nato formally, rather than in practice.”