New cabinet starts work with replacements

FOLLOWING the resignation of the outgoing centre-right cabinet led by Mikuláš Dzurinda, President Ivan Gašparovič on Tuesday evening appointed a new coalition government consisting of Smer, the Slovak National Party (SNS), and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), with Robert Fico as prime minister.

In the new cabinet Smer will hold 11 posts, while the SNS has 3 and the HZDS 2.

Immediately after being named to their posts, the new cabinet ministers met for their first session and started making personnel changes in state administration posts, the Pravda daily wrote.

The new head of the cabinet office is Smer's Igor Federič. The government also recalled all deputy ministers from their posts, while Fico signalled changes to other posts as well. The Slovak secret service, for example, should get a new director, as should the national labour office.

The new cabinet ministers are also promising to make personnel changes in their ministry staffs.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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