Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Sacred Cows

Prime Minister Robert Fico said during the visit of OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría that he does not regard economic reforms as "a sacred cow". He repeated that the government would not scrap reforms that it regarded as good ones. But which are those? The public has yet to find out.

Prime Minister Robert Fico said during the visit of OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría that he does not regard economic reforms as "a sacred cow". He repeated that the government would not scrap reforms that it regarded as good ones. But which are those? The public has yet to find out.

The main reform line of the Dzurinda government, which made the country an example for others, was on taxes, pensions and labour law. These are apparently not among the "good" reforms, because since this government took office they have been under attack. The fight is being waged between the opposition and the government, within the government, and even within the ruling Smer party, as the Finance Ministry showed in fighting off attempts to change the tax reform. The pension reform, meanwhile, is under heavy attack by Fico and Labour Minister Tomanová, as if the Labour Code reform were something worthy of early capitalism. Its role in increasing employment is being totally ignored. Maybe in the end employers and unions will agree and get rid of the worst excesses, but this still doesn't change the fact that the Labour Code revision will return this country to "early socialism".

In the health care sector, the previous government stopped halfway. It got rid of the debts of hospitals and created a framework in which health care providers and health insurance companies had to operate under firm budget restrictions. What Minister Valentovič is offering will return Slovakia to a model that has already been proven not to work. His ministry is not worried by the fact that the change will once again lead to hospital debt, nor is it impressed by the argument that health insurance companies are currently in good shape and pay their bills on time. Reforms are not sacred cows, after all.


Sme, April 10

Top stories

Suspicious "rural entrepreneurs" involved with Smer emerge in Nitra

Successful businesspeople from the village of Babindol who have received subsidies from EU funds worth millions have connections to the ruling Smer party.

Competition in goulash cooking Guláš CUP 2015 in Babindol: Police President Tibor Gašpar(L), ex-minister of Agriculture Ľubomír Jahnátek (R) and Labour Minister Ján Richter (2L).

Slovak mixed relay was withdrawn from competition Photo

Paulína Fialková botched the shooting, thus thwarting the hopes of the Slovak Olympic mixed team of biathletes.

L-R Kuzmina and Fialková in the failed Slovak race.

Blog: Government Affairs in Slovakia – how did this profession develop and what is its future?

It is encouraging that more and more companies based in Slovakia are starting to realize that it is also possible to shape EU policies from a small country like Slovakia and use the services of government affairs…

Illustrative stock photo

Slovak ice hockey team goes home Photo

The United States defeated their rivals from Slovakia for the second time, ending their performance at the Olympics.