The Fico government has passed its ninth month in power, and still hasn't managed to achieve one of its priorities, which is to save money on the state administration, and pour the savings into the education, health care and social sectors.
In the basic parameters of the tax system, the budget and foreign policy, there is still more continuity than change under the Fico government. There is in fact very little difference between what this government is doing and what the parties of the former government promised to do in their 2006 election programs to make reforms softer on ordinary people. The Fico government is still looking fruitlessly for ideas.
Despite that, Fico is quite successful in his policy of promises and empty speeches. He now has 40 percent support, up from 29 percent in the elections, meaning that he has kept the support of all those who believed his promises, and gained others besides, without mobilizing his enemies. Dzurinda's SDKÚ remains under 13 percent.
This phenomenon has a simple explanation. Fico has benefited from the fact that rather than fulfilling his more radical pre-election promises, he is avoiding attacks and has put the government in neutral. He has found that even an unproductive government can be successful, especially if it replaces a government that was productive but untrustworthy. For this reason he has forgotten his 'socialism with a human face', and embraced 'capitalism with a human face'.
Pravda, May 2
7. May 2007 at 0:00 | Dag Daniš