Smer not eager to recover lost PES membership

THE RULING Smer party of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is not making any effort to be re-admitted to the Party of European Socialists (PES) according to Martin Schultz, the head of the socialists’ club in the European Parliament.

The PES punished Smer for forming a ruling coalition with the far-right Slovak National Party (SNS) by suspending the party in October 2006 until a review of the situation in June 2007. At the time, the PES said Smer would not be re-admitted unless it broke off cooperation with the nationalists, which the PES regards as unacceptable for a socialist party.´

Smer, however, has shown no signs of obeying the PES’ wishes.

“We’ll have to speak about it this spring, but I can’t imagine why Robert Fico remains so passive,” Schultz told the SITA news agency.

According to Smer deputy chairman Vladimír Maňka, however, Schultz and European socialist MP Jan Marinus Wiersma are prepareing to visit Slovakia. Maňka said that informal talks are ongoing between Smer and the PES, the Pravda daily wrote.

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