PRIME Minister Robert Fico used the Smer party congress to boast his party’s successes and attack the opposition. The ruling party held its convention in Prešov on December 8 to mark its eighth anniversary.
Fico told the congress that his government has done more for people than the previous one managed to do in eight years in power. Among Smer’s biggest achievements, he listed the lowest-ever state budget deficit and meeting the Maastricht criteria for euro adoption, the SITA newswire wrote.
Other achievements included paying two Christmas bonuses to pensioners, increasing contributions for first-born children and cutting VAT on books and drugs, he said. Fico also remarked that current government returned to disabled people what they lost under the previous government.
“We do not intend to sacrifice people in the name of beautiful figures,” he said.
The Smer leader also introduced his party’s four priorities for the next year: ensuring fast highway construction, adopting the euro, fighting against the increase of prices, and using money from EU funds.
Fico again accused the former ruling coalition, led by the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), of manipulating the selection process for the sale of the 49-percent stake in the SPP gas utility.
Also at the congress, the Smer party officially announced that it will support current President Ivan Gašparovič in the presidential elections scheduled for 2009.
17. Dec 2007 at 0:00 | <i>Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports</i>