PRIME Minister Robert Fico kept the tradition of Slovak PMs paying their first official visit to Prague, heading to the Czech Republic to thank his counterpart, Jiří Paroubek, for his staunch support.
Fico had no reason to break with this tradition, especially since Fico and Czech PM Jiří Paroubek supported each other in their election campaigns.
Paroubek, who is chairman of the Czech Social Democrats (ČSSD), was the only European leftist PM to defend Fico when the Party of European Socialists (PES) suggested that PES cancel the Smer party's membership in their organisation after Smer chairman Fico invited the Slovak National Party (SNS) to join the ruling coalition.
Paroubek also offered support to Fico during his visit to the Czech Republic and added that he does not see anything "bizarre" in the programme of the SNS.
In Prague Fico restated that Smer has an absolute majority in the government and that Vladimír Mečiar and Ján Slota are not a part of his government.
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".
Paroubek and Fico, according to the economic daily Hospodárske noviny agreed that it would be good to have some products again branded as "Made in Czechoslovakia." Fico thinks that this brand could be used mainly in the sectors of energy and culture.
- Martina Jurinová
24. Jul 2006 at 0:00