Representatives of the three parties governing Slovakia met on Tuesday, September 8, for a Coalition Council session – but without the chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS), Ján Slota.
He confirmed that he did not attend the session because of critical comments by Vladimír Mečiar, the leader of the other junior member of the coalition, the Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). "I know the personality of Ján Slota very well," Mečiar told the news conference after the council meeting. According to him, Slota often reacts impulsively, but also calms down quickly. Mečiar stressed there is no communication problem inside the coalition.
Robert Fico, the prime minister and chairman of the largest coalition party, Smer, said that he respected the composition of the SNS delegation without Slota. The SNS deputy chairwoman Anna Belousovová, who attended the meeting in Slota’s place, told the SITA newswire that the party's priority would be to keep the ruling coalition intact without turbulence until the end of the election term, as otherwise this could harm economic development. This was despite the council’s agreement that the SNS would be stripped of one of its ministries (the Environment Ministry) following the recent dismissal of two ministers it had nominated.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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