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World Bank advises cabinet against opposition

AS INCREASINGLY less people in Slovakia support the cabinet reforms and increasingly stronger opposition attacks are likely ahead of the 2006 national election, it is high time to do something about it, according to a Strategic plan on communicating reforms which the World Bank (WB) provided funding for, the SME

The WB provided a $350,000 (€290,000) grant for the document, which, the daily says reads like a guide for a pre-election campaign.

The introduction to the plan states that the cabinet's ambitious reforms are endangered and unless immediate steps are taken the government’s support will fall with growing opposition attacks as the elections get nearer.

The Markant agency, which is close to the SDKÚ, cooperated on the project. The agency carried out various as yet unpublished polls based on which US experts are advising the cabinet on what to do next.

SDKÚ spokesman Martin Maruška to the daily, however, that the material does not say anything about political opposition but rather opposition against the reforms.

On October 11, Robert Fico, the leader of the opposition Smer party, criticized the World Bank document and accused the institution of interfering into Slovakia's internal political affairs.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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