PRIME Minister Robert Fico made his first foreign trip as PM when he visited the Czech Republic on July 15. Traditionally, the Czech Republic is the first country visited by the new Slovak PM upon being appointed to office. Fico had no reason to break with this tradition, especially since Fico and Czech PM Jirí Paroubek supported each other in their election campaigns.
Paroubek, who is chairman of the Czech Social Democrats (CSSD), was the only European leftist PM to defend Fico when European Socialists suggested canceling the Smer party's membership in their organisation after Smer chairman Fico invited the Slovak National Party (SNS) to join the ruling coalition, the SME daily wrote.
Paroubek also offered support to Fico during his visit to the Czech Republic and added that he does not see anything “bizarre” in the program of the SNS. Paroubek praised Fico’s self-confidence and left the message for European socialists that “only after 100 days will it be possible to evaluate the actions of the Slovak cabinet”.
Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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