On January 2, the Pravda daily predicted that 2008 would be another year of conflict for Prime Minister Robert Fico. The daily wrote the reasons for this were as follows: The PM's strategy since establishing the SMER-SD party has been based on seeking an enemy; the PM is not aggressive, but a populist; Fico likes to assume the role of defender of the weak; and the PM is in his element when he fights on multiple fronts simultaneously.
According to the daily, the first conflict we can expect stems from the social insurance law, which was recently amended to allow six months in which savers could leave the capitalization pillar and return to the state-run pay-as-you-go system operated by Sociálna Poisťovňa. It is likely that Fico will take the struggle against pension fund management companies seriously because it will not only concern his image as a socialist and protector of the weak, but because it concerns finances.
The daily also predicted more conflict among either the partners of the ruling coalition or internal rifts within SMER-SD. However, it said the PM did not antagonize the centre-right in 2007 by reversing his predecessor's policies, and that Fico was likely to keep that strategy in 2008. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Jan 2008 at 17:30