Smer can still avoid suspension from PES

PM ROBERT Fico’s Smer party still has a chance to avoid being suspended by the Party of European Socialists (PES), according to Austrian socialist politician Hannes Swoboda.

The PES is threatening to suspend Smer’s membership because it formed a ruling coalition with the Slovak National Party (SNS), which the PES regards as an extreme right-wing party.

Swoboda said that Smer could retain its active membership if it convinces the PES that the new Slovak government will be truly pro-European.

Swoboda said Smer had not been subjected to any direct pressure to end its coalition with the SNS.

“These are issues that the country itself must resolve. The greater the pressure from abroad, the less success [it brings],” Swoboda said for the Pravda daily.

The PES will decide whether to suspend Smer at an October 12 meeting in Brussels.

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