ROBERT Fico’s Smer party was suspended from the Party of European Socialists (PES) for 10 months yesterday as a punishment for forming a coalition government with the far-right Slovak National Party (SNS) after the June 17 general elections.
Prior to the decision, Fico asked the PES to monitor Slovakia for 6-10 months before making a final decision, but the request was denied.
Of the 33 members of the PES, only Smer and the delegates of the Czech ČSSD socialist party disagreed with the suspension.
Smer is the first member of the PES to be suspended in the organization's 14-year history.
In 10 months the European socialists will again discuss the future of Smer, but renewal of its membership will not be automatic. Already yesterday, the PES said that Smer will be able to return to the grouping only if the SNS leaves the Slovak government, the Sme daily wrote.
“In its current form, the SNS is not acceptable to us,” said the head of the PES, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.
13. Oct 2006 at 13:15