Third president takes the palace

THE THIRD Slovak president, Ivan Gašparovič, has moved into the presidential palace. At a formal session of the parliament on June 15, Gašparovič took the presidential oath.

The inauguration was much more modest than five years ago, when Rudolf Schuster took office, the daily SME wrote.

The first official act attended by Gašparovič, together with PM Mikuláš Dzurinda and Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský, will be the burial of Slovak soldiers fallen in Iraq.

In his opening remarks, Gašparovič said that his motto would be "I think nationally and act socially".

Analysts suggest that relationships between the cabinet, parliament, and the presidential palace will be affected by Gašparovič's attitude toward social issues, which brings him close to the opposition.

In the international arena, Gašparovič promised to respect the country's orientation toward NATO and the EU. However, his recent statements imply that he also wants to maintain good relationships with Russia.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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