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President praises Fico, appreciates Dzurinda's reforms

PRESIDENT Ivan Gašparovič held a speech in parliament yesterday supporting PM Robert Fico's new government, saying that it was "on the right path". However, the president did not comment on the new government's affairs relating to the recent politically motivated nominations to the administrations of state-owned companies, the Pravda daily wrote.

During his 50-minute speech, the president touched on several topics, including the need for bigger investments into education. He praised the new Fico government for its decision to build a modern social state. At the same time, however, he recommended that the cabinet continue with the reforms started by former PM Mikuláš Dzurinda's right wing government. He noted, however, that along with the reforms, politicians should also pay greater attention to people's social situation.

In general, however, the president's speech was not particularly surprising. Considering the fact that he announced his plan to hold a speech in parliament just one day before, it was generally expected that he would have something bigger to say.

"I expected something a bit more dramatic. The president only softly outlined his ideas for problematic areas," said Grigorij Mesežnikov, the head of the Institute for Public Affairs think tank.

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