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Coalition rescued until May

After talks that lasted into the wee hours, the ĽS-HZDS has decided to remain in the governing coalition, its chairman, Vladimír Mečiar, said on November 29. But the former prime minister would only guarantee stability until May 2008, when a decision on whether Slovakia qualifies for accession into the Eurozone is expected.

"The agreements achieved last night are partial," Mečiar said. “For now, we have to go back to a functioning coalition.”

Mečiar also took the time to rebuff rumors that the ĽS-HZDS could fracture, calling the notion “absolutely groundless”.

Mečiar called the agreements reached with Prime Minister Fico “pragmatic”: Mečiar’s party will not leave the coalition if Fico respects the rules of a representative government.

Still, tempers occasionally flared.

"Robert Fico is a child of Fortune," Mečiar said.

The ĽS-HZDS also negotiated more power for the new agriculture minister, ĽS-HZDS MP Zdenka Kramplová. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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